State-owned Philippine National Oil. Co. (PNOC) is in talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for three unsolicited offers to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, the company’s top official said on Monday.
PNOC President Reuben Lista told reporters in a chance interview that the company’s board is waiting for the evaluation of its technical working group on the three proposals.
If a proposal meets the criteria set by the PNOC, the ADB will then evaluate it to determine if it is feasible and if the state-run firm would generate money from the project, specifically from unused stocks from the Malampaya gas field off Palawan province.
Lista said neither he nor the board has seen the offers, because these are still with the technical working group and they don’t intend to meddle with it. He added that they would have to wait for the group’s assessment.
In September, the PNOC and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) were close to signing a deal to tap the unused natural gas from Malampaya.
The accord involves providing assistance for a “legally, technically and financially feasible” business arrangement for the first stage of a floating storage and regasification unit using gas-fired power plant technology.
Previously, the PNOC proposed to build a 200-megawatt (MW) natural gas power plant in Batangas province that would be fueled by banked gas from Malampaya.
The firm is trying to restructure its entire organization and move from being a holding company to an operational one.
“Because we have not been an operational company for the past 20 years, we have to reengineer ourselves,” Lista said, adding that is only possible by tapping the expertise of the private sector through public-private partnerships (PPP).
Created by virtue of Presidential Decree 334 on November 9, 1973, the PNOC’s task is to ensure a stable supply of petroleum products to sustain economy growth and social well-being.