The Department of Energy (DOE) is open to including liquefied natural gas facilities as ventures that could qualify for energy projects of national significance (EPNS) certification.
In its updated, Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EIIC) report on October 1, it said that LNG projects and other gas infrastructure facilities are viable for EPNS qualification.
Other projects in consideration are power plants, conventional oil, gas, and coal exploration and development projects; renewable energy installations like geothermal, solar, hydropower, ocean, and wind.
Biomass projects with operating contracts were however excluded, and not those having service contracts.
The EPNS certification is part of Executive Order (EO) No. 30 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte issued in June last year. The EO aims to streamline the regulatory process for key energy projects and lessen the approval process to at least 30 days.
To qualify for an EPNS certificate, an energy project should have a capital investment of at least P3.5 billion; must have contribution to the country’s economic development; balance of payment; must have a significant impact on the environment, with complex and technical processes and/ or engineering designs; and have significant infrastructure requirement.
Four out of 23 accepted EPNS applications have already been approved by the DOE, including the P 52 billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection project; the USD $3.0-billion Atimonan coal-fired power venture; the Kalinga geothermal power project of the Sy Group; and the 151.2MW Talim wind power project of Island Wind Energy Corporation.
Meanwhile, two projects have been declined, with 17 more under evaluation.
The DOE had received 306 EPNS applications and had already notified 289 for their non-compliance to form or documentary requirements.