NORWEGIAN-FILIPINO power company SN Aboitiz Power Group or SNAP has partnered with state-led National Power Corp. (Napocor) for the conservation of a 1,000-hectare watershed area in Benguet province.
Under the memorandum of agreement, the company will adopt the 1,000-hectare watershed area within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the Ambuklao and Binga reservoirs.
“The adoption of the watershed area will harmonize SNAP’s watershed management programs to ensure greater conservation and protection of the Upper Agno River Watershed,” the company said in a statement.
SNAP is a joint venture between AboitizPower Corp. and Norwegian firm Scatec.
The agreement covers forest fire protection, rehabilitation and restoration activities, agroforestry, and riverbank stabilization.
The signing was led by SNAP President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph S. Yu and Napocor President and Chief Executive Fernando Martin Y. Roxas at the agency’s head office in Quezon City.
According to SNAP, the agreement is aligned with Napocor’s Energy Sector Carbon Sequestration Initiative for the rapid rehabilitation of open and depleted areas in its watersheds.
SNAP agreed to rehabilitate and maintain 50 hectares within the Upper Agno River Watershed, of which 20 hectares have been completed.
In 2008, Napocor turned over to SNAP the ownership and operation of the 112.5-megawatt (MW) Ambuklao and 140-MW Binga hydroelectric power facilities under the government’s privatization program.
The dams and reservoirs remain under Napocor’s ownership and management.
The two entities have been partners in watershed and environmental initiatives since the signing of a technical cooperation agreement in 2010. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera