PNOC-EC seeks JV partners for 2 plants

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PNOC Exploration Corp. is seeking joint-venture partners to speed up the construction of two critical coal-fired power plants that can add a combined 200 megawatts to the Luzon and Mindanao grids.

These two power projects in Isabela and Zamboanga Sibugay were earlier estimated to require an investment of some $400 million or roughly P16 billion.

In a statement, PNOC-EC explained that it intends to bid out within the first quarter this year majority stakes in the two power projects, based on the joint venture guidelines issued by the National Economic and Development Authority.

The Lantau Group was appointed to advise PNOC-EC on this matter.

PNOC-EC earlier said that it was looking to keep a minority share of between 30 and 49 percent in each project.

The upstream oil and exploration arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co. said that the Isabela power plant would use the lignite coal within the company’s coal concession in the area, which has enough reserves to power a 100-MW station.

The winning bidder or joint venture partner for the Isabela project will be involved in the mine and power plant development as well as in operation of the power station and marketing of generated electricity, PNOC-EC said.

Meanwhile, the proposed power project in Zamboanga Sibugay will use the bituminous coal reserves from PNOC-EC’s Malangas coal mines.

Coal reserves from this area, which are estimated to be sufficient for a 50 MW to 100 MW station, are of high quality and suitable for blending with imported coal, the company said.

The joint-venture partner for the Zamboanga Sibugay project will be involved in the development and operation of the power plant as well as marketing the generated electricity.

It was earlier reported that at least six South Korean power firms, including giants like Korea Electric Power Corp., have separately expressed interest to partner with PNOC-EC for these two coal-fed power plants, which are targeted to start commercial operations by 2016.

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