SNAP prepares to increase presence in hydro sector

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SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP) is looking to further expand its power generation portfolio with plans to put up five more hydropower facilities and bid for government-managed contracted capacities.

In a recent briefing, SNAP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel V. Rubio disclosed that SNAP had pending applications before the Department of Energy for five hydropower projects that may be built along the Magat River in Isabela, where the company also operates the 360-megawatt Magat hydropower plant.

The smaller hydropower projects, according to Rubio, are targeted to generate roughly 10 megawatts each or a total of 50 MW.

Rubio declined, however, to cite investment details, but noted that based on the general rule, roughly $2 million to $3 million will be needed to produce a megawatt from hydro resources.

This means that for a 50-MW portfolio, SNAP will have to invest anywhere between $100 million (roughly P4.1 billion) and $150 million (roughly P6.15 billion) should it push through with the projects.

Rubio noted that the company’s plan to embark on smaller projects will be a “good experience” for the company, which currently operates large hydropower projects.

Rubio also disclosed that SNAP remained interested in bidding for the independent power producer administrator (IPPA) contracts for the 728-megawatt Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan and 150-MW Casecnan hydropower facilities, should these be put up for auction by the government.

“When the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. privatizes CBK and Casecnan, we’ll always be there to consider these,” Rubio added.

The CBK power plants are operated by the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan Power Co. Ltd. (CBK-PCL) of Japanese firms Sumitomo Corp. and J-Power. These Laguna-based facilities are composed of the 684.6-MW Kalayaan I and II in Kalayaan; 20.8-MW Botocan in Majayjay, and 22.6-MW Caliraya in Lumban.

The Casecnan facility, meanwhile, is a combined irrigation and hydroelectric power project initiated by the National Irrigation Administration.

It was built to generate power and improve the operating performance of the downstream hydroelectric power plants in Pantabangan and Masiway; irrigate 31,000 hectares of additional agricultural land and stabilize the water supply to 102,000 hectares of existing irrigated areas.

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