P2.4B in investments eyed from 30 coal contracts
The Department of Energy expects to rake in at least P2.4 billion in initial investments from the 30 coal operating contracts it is offering to investors under the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) 4.
Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. said the investments were
expected to be made within the four-year exploration period to be accorded to companies that would bag coal operating contracts through the bidding.
On the sidelines of the PECR 4-Coal launching on Thursday, Layug said the
estimated investments were computed based on the assumption that each company would spend an average of P80 million per coal block.
He said the government was bullish that investors would bid for all the 30 coal blocks as these were all “nominated areas,” meaning the companies themselves had asked that they be placed on auction block.
The 30 coal blocks offered under PECR 4 are located in Quezon,
Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Bohol, Agusan del Norte, Misamis
Oriental, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Interested investors have until 11 a.m. of March 1, 2012 to submit their bids for the coal blocks.
“The government continually encourages the private sector to participate in its energy independence program that aims to reduce overdependence on imported fuels,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras.
“Through intensive exploration, the DOE hopes to find additional reserves to supply the local demand for coal. Coal is primarily used in power generation,” he added.
With the goal of reducing the country’s coal importation, the development of indigenous coal remains a priority of the energy sector. Last year, coal production stood at 7.3 million metric tons.
Indigenous coal mainly comes from the operations of Semirara Mining Corp. in Antique and the output from its open cast operations.
The balance was provided by small-scale and medium-scale underground mining operations in the coal-rich provinces of Surigao, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cebu, Negros and Albay.
Under the PECR scheme, investors are assured of a transparent and
economically-rewarding contracting round with the availability of an
updated database on the country’s prospective coal areas, as well as the expanding internal energy market and attractive fiscal terms.
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