MANILA, Philippines – The permit process for coal-fired power plants just got harder as project proponents now need to get additional clearances from the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the office of Sen. Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
The previous leadership at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) came out with a memorandum requiring coal plant developers to secure a clearance from the CCC and the office of Sen. Legarda to have their environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) approved.
The new requirement was confirmed by some power developers.
Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. (QPPL) managing director Frank Thiel said he is aware of the new DENR memorandum on coal-fired power plants but has not yet read it.
But definitely, this will add a new layer to securing of 156 permits for coal plant projects, he said.
In a text message, Aboitiz Power Corp. president and COO Antonio Moraza said he came across the memorandum, which seemed “like an odd requirement.”
“It was signed during the previous administration. So will the current administration regularize this?” he said.
Meanwhile, GN Power COO Ariel Punzalan said this would be an addition to an already tedious process of securing permits.
“This will be harder for a capital developer like us,” he said. “In fact, for a new coal plant, we need at least 100 permits before you can start. It was streamlined through the years but adding that to the equation will make it more difficult.”
Currently, coal plants cover 39 percent of the country’s power supply, latest Department of Energy (DOE) data showed.
The country will also see nearly an addition of 5,000 megawatts (MW) in capacity from 47 new power plants being built by 2020, of which over over 70 percent are coal-based, recent DOE data showed.
(The Philippine Star) | Updated July 23, 2016 – 12:00am