STATE-RUN Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) would like to hold a significant stake on a power project to be developed in the Philippines by Dubai-based Lloyds Energy Group.
In a chance interview, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said “what PNOC would like to have is to get a board seat so at least we can have proper representation and [learn] how things are running.”
Cusi said both parties were in talks to finalize the provisions for the construction of a merchant power plant, a facility which could trade electricity through the spot market. “Lloyds Energy, together with Japan Mitsubishi, will put up a 1,200-megawatt (MW) LNG [liquefied natural gas] power plant,” he added.
Lloyds Energy, he said, is working on the necessary documents to secure the permit from the Department of Energy (DoE) in developing the facility.
In June, PNOC said in a website post it signed a non-binding agreement with Lloyds Energy for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and natural gas power plants in the country.
The memorandum of agreement (MoU) signed by the two entities would explore cooperative ways to develop LNG facilities and natural gas generation plants and other related activities in Limay, Bataan; Bauan, Batangas; and Mabini, Batangas.
It also explores the viability of oil importation and storage.
PNOC President and chief Reuben Lista had explained the MoU was exploratory and won’t prohibit them from forging partnership with other companies. “Both are exploratory and without exclusivity clauses and does not affect the other. The country needs an LNG power plant and an oil depot,” Lista said in a message to the reporters.
“These steps will encourage also the private sector to consider these directions, just like what we did with the LNG hub,” he added, without providing additional details about the MoU.
This development, according to the Energy chief, was a product of their negotiation during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan in May.
“The government is encouraging or inviting investment to address the energy requirement of the country in the immediate future,” he said.
In November last year, Lloyds Energy joined the PNOC’s new search for a joint venture partner to undertake the LNG project in Batangas before the state-led corporation ended the bid.
PNOC eventually partnered with Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. and CNOOC Gas and Power Group Co. Ltd., which would enable the three firms to explore and discuss business opportunities and cooperation in relation to the equity investment in Tanglawan Philippine LNG Inc., as well as involvement with other entities relating to the project, PNOC facilities, market development, PNOC banked gas and future energy projects.
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