DOE sets minimum capacity for EPNS projects

Published January 17, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Department of Energy (DOE) has prescribed capacity requirements that power investors  must comply to qualify for “energy project of national significance” (EPNS) status.

The minimum plant capacity requirement is part of the sub-attributes laid down by the DOE-led Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) for ventures that it will be processing on EPNS applications.

As anchored on the P3.5 billion minimum capitalization specified under Executive Order No. 30, or the Presidential edict on EPNS, the minimum capacity requirement for a nuclear power plant must be 13 megawatts; while for coal-fired power generation, it must be 45 megawatts for facilities using sub-critical technology; and 40MW for those deploying super critical boiler technology.

For natural gas plant, the capacity requirement is at least 75MW; and for diesel power plant, it must be for 75MW; while for bunker-C generating facility, the capacity must be 70MW.

 EPNS qualification for geothermal power plant shall at least be for a capacity of 13MW; run-of-river hydro at 20MW; biomass plant at 30MW; solar plant at 40MW and wind plant at 38MW.

For liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility, the minimum capacity shall be at least 0.20 million tons per annum (mtpa) and must be able to fuel at least a 95MW power plant at 85-percent capacity factor; or a 190MW plant with a capacity factor of 50-percent.

 On refinery investments, the prescribed capacity shall be at least 1.70 thousand barrels per day, according to the energy department.

In the upstream petroleum sector, the investor must commit for drilling of 23 onshore wells with capital injection of US$3.0 million per well; or seven (7) offshore wells that must be funneled with US$10 million investment per well.

Beyond the required capacity installations, project-applicants are also reminded of the other conditions that they must comply with under EO 30 for EPNS classification, and for them to benefit from streamlined project permitting processes.

In terms of the EPNS projects’ significant contribution to the country’s economic development, the communities must at least gain P22 million worth of benefits under the Energy Regulations 1-94 on an annual basis; and they must have contribution to national wealth tax amounting to P100 million yearly.

Additionally, these projects must bring about “significant consequential economic impact”, including job creation that shall be at least 150 workers during operation; and about 1,000 workers during construction.

The other preconditions are contribution to the country’s balance of payments, such as the inflow of foreign investment capital; and they must have significant impact on the environment.