PNOC-EC seeks partners for $400M projects
Company offering to investors 51% of joint ventureBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PNOC Exploration Corp., the upstream oil and coal arm of state run Philippine National Oil Co., is seeking joint venture partners for its plan to put up two mine mouth coal-fired power plants worth $400 million, or about P17 billion.
Joseph Omar A. Castillo, PNOC-EC vice president for business operations, said the company wanted to retain a minority share of up to 49 percent in the projects. PNOC-EC will offer to prospective partners the majority stake of up to 51 percent.
The planned power facilities will be put up in Isabela and Zamboanga Sibugay.
The power plants will each have a capacity to generate 100 megawatts once they start commercial operations.
According to Castillo, PNOC-EC will choose its partners for these power projects through a competitive bidding.
“We are following the National Economic Development Authority’s guidelines on joint venture agreements. There are many prospective partners and competitive bidding is the best way to get the best deal,” Castillo said.
Prior to holding of a bidding for these projects, however, PNOC-EC will also be auctioning off a contract for transaction adviser worth P26.9 million.
The adviser, which can either be a local or foreign entity, will provide consultancy services to PNOC-EC in selecting joint venture partners for the planned mine mouth power-generation facilities.
A prebidding conference will be held on July 3 for parties interested in the consultancy contract. Bids will be opened on August 2.
The proposed mine mouth coal facilities, which will be constructed near PNOC-EC’s coal mines, are expected to help boost the business climate and generate employment in the underserved provinces of Isabela and Zamboanga Sibugay.
At present, PNOC-EC is developing three prospective high-grade coal mines in Zamboanga Sibugay under Coal Operating Contract (COC) No. 41. The COC covers Lumbog, Lower Butong and Sta. Barbara. This will allow the company to increase its coal production by 800,000 metric tons yearly, from the current production under COC 41 of about 150,000 MT.
PNOC-EC chairman and CEO Gemiliano Lopez Jr. earlier said the three mines were expected to start commercial production between 2012 and 2015.
Lopez said the Lumbog area, which was estimated to have coal reserve of at least 1.4 million tons, was expected to be the first to start production.
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