STATE-RUN Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has requested the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (CGC) to speed up the reorganization of PNOC so that it can get additional technical people as it embarks on big energy projects as an operational company.
“I called [CGC] Chairman Samuel Dagpin to reconsider our request for reorganization because I need the people for our projects to run, because this is our first year to be an operational company,” PNOC President Reuben Lista said in an interview.
“Under the new table of organization, there will be a 253-personnel complement of PNOC.
The number of our current warm bodies is only 102. [We need] almost 150 additional for the current plantilla; however, our warm bodies are limited,” Graciela M. Barleta, PNOC senior vice-president for legal, administration and estate management services, said.
One of PNOC’s projects is to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in its property in Mabini, Batangas.
Currently, PNOC is in talks with foreign partners for possible government-to-government partnership to put up LNG facilities. Plans in the area include a 200-megawatt (MW) power plant and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs).
“Before the LNG plans become operational, we have to train and get people already. We’re thinking of hiring OFWs [overseas Filipino workers]and we’re using embassies to scout some of them. We have prospects in Qatar, Oman, Dubai, and UAE,” Lista said.
“This is our first request to CGC. I hope they understand the urgency. I will go there myself to explain the urgency and the need of such request because we have a big project. This LNG project will start at $1 billion and might end up to something like $2.4 billion,” he said.
There are now 34 interested firms but PNOC will wait until the end of this month to decide, Lista said.
Among those reportedly pursuing the LNG investment deal with keen interest are a Spanish firm, a consortium of Indonesian-Turkish-Omani investors, a Singaporean firm; Japanese and Chinese investors; and local firms like First Gen Corp.
“We will assure that there are still sources of LNG if and when Malampaya sizzles out. This is why this LNG project is done in phases. Even the power plant itself is by phases,” he explained.
Also, PNOC’s strategy is to equitize banked gas in the LNG tie-up deal.
“What’s important here is we use our banked gas immediately. You input banked gas in their computation as a forward equity. Smaller companies will retract so that, in itself, will start the shortlisting. Then you’ll see companies forming groups because this is government-to-government (G2G),” he said.
PNOC has 97 gigajoules (GJ) of banked gas that it can draw from the Malampaya field’s production – and that would be good to fuel a power plant of 200 MW-capacity over the short- to medium-term.
“The key here is to assure the offtakers that they have LNG. We are assuring them that they will have a source of LNG after 2024,” Lista said.