Developer SN Aboitiz Power-Ifugao has said it remains committed to developing the 390-MW Alimit hydropower project in the Philippines, pending consent from indigenous groups impacted by its construction.
A statement from the SNAP Group, which is a joint venture of Norway's SN Power and the Aboitiz Power Corp., said the developer is still working to complete the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process as stipulated under the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997.
Specifically affected by the proposed plant would be the Aguinaldo, Lagawe, Lamut and Mayoyao communities, which have been meeting with SNAP since the beginning of the year.
"This will then allow the indigenous peoples to go into a consensus building process to decide whether to give consent to the proposed project or not," SNAP vice president Mike Hosillos said in a statement. "So far, we have received a positive reception to the proposed project."
SNAP-Ifugao reportedly applied with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in March 2014 to begin the FPIC process.
"Though the FPIC process has already taken close to three years, we are keenly aware of the need to be faithful with the spirit and intent of IPRA law to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples, and we are committed to following the process prescribed by the law and NCIP to achieve this," Hosillos said.
The Alimit project would actually be a complex of three hydroelectric plants that would include the 250-MW Alimit pumped-storage plant, alongside the conventional 120-MW Alimit and 20-MW Olilicon plants.
HydroWorld.com reported in August 2014 that the proposal had received approval from the Philippines Department of Energy.
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