SNAP-Benguet pays fine to ERC, but appeals ruling


SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAP-Benguet) filed a motion for reconsideration on Friday following the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) decision to impose an administrative penalty for the alleged breaching of allowable forced outages of the 34.85-megawatt Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant Unit 1 in March and April.

Before that, the firm paid its Php875,000 fine to the commission on November 8.

In its motion for reconsideration, SNAP-Benguet said that revisions to its Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP), which was made in anticipation of changes to the availability of water and the need for earlier replacement of critical mechanical parts, were explained in a letter to the ERC on May 17. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) later approved the revisions.

Given this, the company maintained that Ambuklao did not breach the maximum unplanned outage days allowed by the ERC.

SNAP-Benguet further asserted that the Department of Energy (DOE) granted authority to NGCP to approve amendments to the GOMP without the DOE’s consent. The firm cited Section 3.5 of DOE Department Circular 2020-02-0004, which states that “[any] amendment or change of schedule due to emergency situations of the Generating Facility shall be approved by [NGCP] and the DOE shall be notified accordingly.”

“With due respect, we hope that the Honorable Commission reconsiders their decision in light of the evidence we have presented. We remain committed to cooperating with the ERC as we work to resolve this matter,” SNAP-Benguet Vice President for Corporate Affairs Mike Hosillos said in a statement.