AFTER it left the country in 2009, multinational energy firm Gas Natural Fenosa has expressed an interest to return to the Philippines. A senior official said the company is looking for partners to rebuild their portfolio in the power sector.
David Gallardo, Director of the Business Development and Promotion Division of Fenosa, said their return to the Philippines is timely because of the country’s growing power demand.
“Now we are just a single company with assets worldwide especially in Latin America, and now we want to come back to the Philippines,” Gallardo told reporters.
Gallardo said they have started talks with several local companies for possible partnership in building back their investments.
“We’ll also visit some companies in the country, like the ones owned by Aboitiz, the Lopezes and some other companies,” Gallardo said.
He said the company is also looking at the possibility of putting back some investment in Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the country’s largest power distribution firm.
“Meralco is a big dinosaur. We are glad to discuss, to learn and to see if we have some common business together,” Gallardo said.
Gallardo said the company is looking at investing in power generation and distribution, liquefied natural gas (LNG) business (mixed) stream and downstream and he hopes these projects will materialize soon because of the country’s tight supply until 2018.
“That’s our dream, that’s why we’re here,” he said.
Before they return to the country, Gallardo wants to know the government’s plan once the Malampaya natural gas decelerates.
“We are planning, we are expecting to receive the master plan whenever it is ready. We want to see and read the regulation,” he said.
Before Fenosa left the country, it had a 40 percent stake in Meralco through its local subsidiary First Philippine Union Fenosa Inc.
Union Fenosa sold out its stake in 2005 after a series of Supreme Court rulings affected the finances of the country’s largest power retailer.