THE Department of Energy (DOE) has received 331 applications from industry stakeholders seeking the certification of their power projects as “energy projects of national significance [EPNS].”

As of January 11, the DOE said in its website that 293 applications were accepted while 38, or 11 percent, were notified of their noncompliance as to form or documentary requirements.

To date, the DOE has awarded certificates of EPNS to 12 power projects. The latest was awarded last December 20 to Total Power Inc. for its 100-megawatt (MW) Sarangani solar-power project, currently in a pre-development stage.

The 11 other projects are the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Kalinga geothermal-power project of Aragorn Power and Energy Corp. (APEC), the 151.2-MW Talim wind power project of Island Wind Energy Corp., the  2×600-MW coal project of Atimonan One Energy Inc., Coal Operating Contracts (COC) 185 and 186 of the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp.’s (PNOC-EC), the 500-MW pumped storage hydropower project of Coheco Badeo Corp. (Coheco-Badeo), the 650-MW Pagbilao combined cycle gas turbine power plant of Energy World, the 15-MW Masbate coal plant of DMCI Power Corp., the 1.2-MW biogas power plant project of First Quezon Biogas Corp. and the 6-MW Pangasinan Green Atom Waste to Energy project of Green Atom Renewable Energy Corp.

The issuance of EPNS certificates is stipulated under Executive Order (EO) 30, which states that concerned government agencies shall act upon applications for permits not exceeding a 30-day period. If no decision is made within the specified processing time frame, the application is deemed approved by the concerned agency.

“It is the policy of the State to ensure a continuous, adequate and economic supply of energy. Hence, an efficient and effective administrative process for energy projects of national significance should be developed in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the implementation of the Philippine Energy Plan [PEP],” the EO stated.

The EO also stated that the CEPNS is not an assurance or an automatic guarantee of favorable action by the permitting agencies, but a requirement from them to immediately act on the applications for permits/licenses within the prescribed periods under prevailing laws.