SNAP taps Hitachi as EPC contractor for Magat BESS

SN Aboitiz – Magat

SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP) announced on Tuesday has tapped Japanese firm Hitachi Energy as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for its 20-megawatt (MW) battery energy storage system (BESS) project at the Magat hydroelectric plant in Ramon, Isabela.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this month and is targeted for completion by the first quarter of 2024. The Magat BESS is expandable to 24MW and would also be used primarily for ancillary services or reserve power.

SNAP, a joint venture between Aboitiz Power Corporation and Norwegian renewable energy (RE) firm Scatec, said it signed the EPC deal with Hitachi on March 25.

“We are excited about technologies like BESS that complement our ambition of bringing forth a RE-powered future, and continue to explore and assess other greenfield and brownfield opportunities beyond hydropower and floating solar,” SNAP Group President and CEO Joseph Yu said in a statement.

As for financing, SNAP also signed agreements with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and China Banking Corporation (Chinabank) to fund the Magat BESS’ construction. 

BPI had earlier said it was keen on RE investments in the country, particularly solar. Chinabank’s sister firm BDO Unibank, meanwhile, said it was open to funding both RE and nuclear ventures.

Yu expressed his appreciation to BPI and Chinabank for bankrolling the project.

“This new development in our Magat facility is a significant step forward in our renewable energy ambitions over the next ten years. We intend to take an active role in the Philippine renewable energy market but this is not our journey alone,” said AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio. 

In a related development, SNAP said the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ has included the upgrade of the 230-kilovolt Magat-Santiago transmission in the grid firm’s Transmission Development Plan. SNAP further said that the upgrade will allow it to continue adding capacities in the Magat Dam area for additional projects.

Recently, AboitizPower signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to conduct a study on the viability of RE as a source of baseload power in the Philippines. 

AboitizPower, the country’s largest power generating firm, has allotted Php28 billion in capital expenditure to expand its RE portfolio and upgrade its facilities this year