40 MW Hydroelectric Plant License Revoked

The Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines decided to revoke the license it had granted in early 2020 to the Rocja Pontilá hydroelectric project, in Coban, Alta Verapaz.

Monday, March 9, 2020

On Jan. 13, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) approved the Rocja Pontila hydroelectric project, which was planned to be built on the Icbolay River and would have an installed capacity of 40 megawatts.

See"$1.2 Billion in Energy Investments"

But in February a group of deputies from the National Unity for Hope (UNE) filed an unconstitutionality action against the ministerial agreement approving the project, arguing that MEM Ministerial Agreement 019-2020 violated seven articles of the Constitution, including 1, 3, 12, 44, 66, 97 and 154.

After these imposed actions, at the end of February the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) decided to cancel the environmental permit that had been granted, because according to the authorities, the requirements established by law to issue a license were not fulfilled.

The MEM followed in MARN's footsteps, since on 6 March the repeal of Ministerial Agreement 019-2020 was published in the Diario de Centroamérica. The official publication specifies that "... the final authorizations to use goods in the public domain are made based on the qualification of the application presented and this must contain at least the study of the Environmental Impact Assessment, approved by the corresponding environmental entity, and that in accordance with the cited resolutions of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources the validity by which the Environmental Impact Study was approved was suspended .... which reduces the legal certainty of the administrative actions issued by this Ministry."

The document adds that it is agreed "... To revoke Ministerial Agreement number 019-2020 dated January 13, 2020 issued by this Ministry and published in the Diario de Centroamérica on January 27, 2020."

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More on this topic

The 40 MW Hydroelectric Power Plant is suspended

February 2020

Arguing that the requirements established by law to issue a license were not met, the authorities in Guatemala decided to suspend the environmental permit for the Rocja Pontila Central hydroelectric project.

After the congressmen of the National Unity of Hope (Une) presented an unconstitutionality action against the hydroelectric project before the Constitutional Court (CC), arguing that Ministerial Agreement 019-2020 of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) violated 7 articles of the Constitution such as 1, 3, 12, 44, 66, 97 and 154, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) decided to cancel the environmental license.

Action Against 40 MW Hydroelectric Plant

February 2020

In Guatemala, a group of deputies filed an unconstitutionality action against the ministerial agreement approving the Rocja Pontila hydroelectric project.

The authorization for the hydroelectric plant, owned by the Pontila Integrated Development Project and planned to be built on the Icbolay River in Alta Verapaz, was issued on January 13, 2020.

Guatemala: Another Hydroelectric License Suspended

June 2017

The Constitutional Court has temporarily suspended the environmental license granted to the 40 MW Rocja Pontilá hydroelectric project located in Cobán, Alta Verapaz.

The Court's decision is based on a case filed by members of the communities in the area near the lagoon of Lachúa, who argue that the Ministry of Environment granted permission to develop the project "anomalously."

Guatemala: $99 million Hydroelectric Project

August 2014

The Environmental Impact Study has been presented for the construction of a 40 MW hydro station called "Central Project Rocjá Pontila" in the department of Alta Verapaz.

The company Proyecto de Desarrollo Integral Pontila S.A presented the environmental impact study to build a hydroelectric project in the Community of Rocjá Pontila, Municipality of Coban, Alta Verapaz.

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