The 40 MW Hydroelectric Power Plant is suspended

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.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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.

Prensalibre.com reports that MARN "... the decision 'has legal standing in a resolution issued by the Constitutional Court, issued in relation to the case' and that it was determined that the requirements established by law to issue a license were not met. Furthermore, it was determined that the procedures established for such a process were not complied with."

See "$1.2 Billion in Energy Investments"

For Aurelio Asturias, technical director of the hydroelectric project, the "... cancellation of the license was done arbitrarily and opens the door for the ministry to cancel in that way and without a judge's order any project in the country. First they made an administrative amendment to the process and then they decided to suspend it, 'the law is very clear, the only one who can revoke this is a judge after a process, but the ministry is taking on the role of a judge."

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, had been issued on January 13, 2020.

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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.

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.

Energy: Investments in Limbo

September 2018

Due to social conflicts and various legal processes, 16 hydroelectric projects have been halted in Guatemala, which together amount to an investment of close to $1.5 billion.

The Association of Generators of Renewable Energy (Ager) reported that power generation projects have been suspended because of conflicts with communities in the zones, consultation processes with indigenous peoples, and orders issued by the Constitutional Court, many of which which have been in response to claims raised by environmental organizations. These projects, for which no light can yet be seen at the end of the tunnel, represent an installed capacity of 460 MW.

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."

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