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Energy contracting round roadshows up

March 18, 2014 | admin

The Department of Energy (DOE) is scheduling fresh round of international roadshows for the Philippine Energy Contracting Round-5 (PECR-5) to offer new coal and petroleum blocks to prospective investors.

The department announced that roadshows will be slated in Texas, United States on May 12 to 16 this year; Singapore on June 10 to 14; and Turkey on September 14 to 17.

It is worth noting though that in the last auction, the bidders were mostly Filipino firms despite the efforts of the department then to corner the attention of potential big-ticket foreign investors.

The areas to be offered for both coal and petroleum resources are still for identification by the mandated Review and Evaluation Committee (REC). The fifth energy contracting round will be launched April 25 this year.

Under PECR-4, there had been specific REC which handled the auction process as well as the evaluation of offers.

But just recently, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla issued Department Circular No. DC 2014-02-0005 calling for the creation of a new REC to handle the bidding process for the new coal and petroleum blocks to be dangled to investors.

The REC, according to the DOE, “shall identify the prospective petroleum and coal areas” that will be included for auction. The committee will likewise “examine, evaluate and review the qualifications of project applicants based on their work program, legal, technical and financial qualifications.”

It added that the process will be undertaken in coordination with the local government units (LGUs), apparently to calibrate systems when it comes to securing host community approvals.

The energy department indicated that information and education campaign (IEC) will be pursued in portended resource-rich local government domains, such as Palawan, Mindoro, Iloilo and Sulu for oil and gas.

For coal, the information drive will be carried out in resource-strategic areas of Isabela, Albay, Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga.

The offer of new blocks, according to Petilla, will hopefully “lessen our dependence on oil and coal imports by tapping available indigenous energy resources.”

While that has been the proverbial wish of officials sitting at the department’s helm, real “hard work” is needed so those much-hankered for investment dollars will come. Absent political will and viable investment policies, the deep-pocketed investors can just conveniently turn their back on the country’s invitation for them to pour in capital.


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