SNAP inks deal with NPC on adoption of watershed area

At a glance

  • SNAP-NPC MOA.jpg
  • Signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between SNAP and NPC on the adoption of a watershed area within the Ambuklao-Binga reservoir.

Renewable energy firm SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP) has cemented a deal with state-run National Power Corporation (SNAP) for the adoption of a 1,000-hectare watershed area, which is within 2.5-kilometer radius of the reservoir underpinning the former’s 252.5-megawatt Ambuklao-Binga hydropower facility.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) on this specific collaboration was recently signed between NPC President Fernando Roxas and SNAP President and CEO Joseph Yu.

According  to SNAP, which is a joint venture between Norwegian firm Scatec and Aboitiz Power Corporation, the company already has its long-standing partnership with NPC when it comes to “watershed and riverbank stabilization” – and they have been pursuing these partnerships with the support of the host local governments as well as the indigenous peoples’ organizations in their areas of operations.

“SNAP and NPC have implemented various initiatives such as tree planting, biodiversity, reforestation, and watershed conservation,” the RE firm has emphasized in its media statement.

As fleshed out in the MOA, “the agreement covers the preservation of the 2.5-km area around the Ambuklao and Binga reservoirs and includes forest fire protection, rehabilitation and restoration activities, agroforestry, and riverbank stabilization.”

That  adoption of the watershed area, SNAP added,  will harmonize its watershed management programs “to ensure greater conservation and protection of the Upper Agno River watershed,” which has been part of the initiative that the company has started working on since last year.

In that stretch, SNAP agreed “to rehabilitate and maintain 50 hectares within the Upper Agno River watershed” – and to date,  20 hectares had already been completed so far.

SNAP and NPC have been partners in watershed and environmental initiatives since the signing of a technical cooperation agreement in 2010 – which was aptly timed after the turnover of the Ambuklao and Binga hydropower facilities which were privatized by the government in 2008.

In hydropower developments, the watershed areas surrounding the reservoirs can be overlooked by some project sponsors, but in the SNAP-NPC collaboration, they want to ensure that innovative and responsible practices are applied in sustaining watershed stewardship.

By advancing such endeavor, it was highlighted that it is not just biodiversity that is being preserved, but the well-maintained watershed systems can also contribute to the efficient and sustainable operations of the hydropower facilities

On the recently sealed MOA, NPC qualified that that this is aligned with its Energy Sector Carbon Sequestration Initiative; and this is being pursued for the “rapid rehabilitation of open and depleted areas in its watersheds.”

Accordingly, this undertaking is also part of SNAP’s commitment “to strengthen its sustainability efforts by embedding environmental, social, and governance principles in its operations.”

The company further conveyed that through development-partnerships with its host-communities, it has been helping in “reducing the effects of climate change, increasing biodiversity, and protecting water resources to create a sustainable energy future.”