The Public-Private Partnership Center (PPP Center) may be the one that will conduct the detailed feasibility study for the Batangas-Manila (Batman 1) natural gas pipeline, after state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) approached the government agency and asked them to do so.
During the Industry Emergency Response forum organized by the Philippine Institute of Petroleum, Zenaida Monsada, director of the Department of Energy-Oil Industry Management Bureau, told reporters that PNOC, as the lead agency, has asked the PPP Center to conduct the study for the project.
According to Monsada, the study will include the terms of reference for bidding the engineering, procurement and construction of the 105-kilometer Batman 1 project.
“The study should be completed within the year or first quarter next year,” she said.
The Batman 1 natural gas project, which has a project cost of around $100 million to $150 million, is projected to be completed by 2015 to 2017.
“The idea is, the PPP Center has a pool of international consultants. They wanted an international perspective,” Monsada said.
“Most likely [the pipeline is a]monopoly, so the ownership will be with the government but the study will best determine who will operate or maintain the pipeline. Personally, I think that will be included in the study,” she said.
In previous reports, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. offered to take a stake in the Batman 1 gas pipeline project to speed up the development of the country’s natural gas industry.
Energy officials, however, then said that it would be most optimal for the government to own and operate the pipeline.
Madelaine B. Miraflor