Guatemala: Another Hydroelectric License Suspended

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

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."

See: "Oxec Hydroelectric Station to Resume Operations" reports that "...In November 2016, the Marn authorized the Central Integral Development Project Rocja Pontilá, Sociedad Anónima. Prior to that date, company representatives submitted the documents required to obtain an authorization three times, but they were rejected due to errors and inaccurate data. The project is run by entrepreneur Aurelio Asturias Ekenberg."

See also: "Guatemala: Hydroelectrics and Legal Uncertainty"

Information from CentralAmericaData´s system "Central American Construction Projects" indicates that the Environmental Impact Study was presented to the Marn by Proyecto de Desarrollo Integral Pontilla S.A., on May 6, 2015.

The EIA indicates that power station Rocja Pontila is a Renewable Generation project of 40,0 Megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, which takes advantage of the flow from the tributary basin of the icbolay river, a tributary of the Chixoy River, which is part of the group of rivers that are on slopes of the Gulf of Mexico.

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More on this topic

40 MW Hydroelectric Plant License Revoked

March 2020

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.

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.

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: 453 MW of Clean Energy At Risk

August 2016

Conflicts over land use and environmental legal actions have kept fourteen hydroelectric power generation projects paralyzed.

Of the fourteen hydroelectric projects on hold, according to the Association of Renewable Energy Generators (Ager), six were suspended for having been declared unconstitutional, two are in the "dialogue process", one is waiting for a ruling from the Constitutional Court and another " ...

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