LAGAWE, Ifugao – SN Aboitiz Power’s proposed Alimit hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) in Ifugao underwent public hearings recently, as part of the requirements to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The hearings were held for the four municipalities to be affected by the project: Lagawe (September 27), Lamut (September 28), Mayoyao (October 10) and Aguinaldo (October 11). A total of 1,226 community members (220, 190, 313, and 503, respectively) attended the proceedings facilitated by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR.
The Alimit HEPP project is composed of the (1) Alimit Dam, Reservoir and a 120-MW power plant; and the (2) Olilicon HEPP composed of the Ibulao Weir, Pond, Diversion tunnel and a 20-MW power plant. They will be located in the municipalities of Aguinaldo, Lagawe, Lamut, and Mayoyao, in the province of Ifugao.
The hearings were held for community members to learn more about the projects and raise concerns on social and environmental impacts, which will be part of the basis for DENR’s review or recommendations for improvements of the proponent’s environmental study. Concerns discussed during the hearings included irrigation supply, river health, and biodiversity.
“We learned a lot from the local government units, communities and indigenous people groups over the course of these public hearings and we are thankful for their participation. As a responsible developer, SNAP values their inputs and we will factor these as we review the final design and mitigation plans for the project to minimize impact,” Chief Operating Officer Joseph S. Yu said.
SNAP is completing its feasibility study requirements, mandated by the Department of Energy and the company shareholders, as part of the conditions of the energy contracts granted in 2014. The project is also undergoing the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, a separate permitting process required for the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights.
SNAP is a joint venture of SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower. SNAP-Benguet owns and operates the 105-MW Ambuklao and 140-MW Binga in Benguet HEPPS while SNAP-Magat owns and operates the 360-MW Magat HEPP at the border of Isabela and Ifugao. Construction of an 8.5-MW power plant at the Maris Canal in Isabela is also on-going.