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Japanese investors urged to engage in PHL's power projects

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Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras urged investors to pursue energy projects in the Philippines as part of the country’s roadshow of public-private partnership (PPP) program in Japan.

Almendras announced to Japanese investors in the 29th Joint Meeting of the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committees (JPECC), the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committees (PhilJEC) and the Japanese Investors Seminar 2011 that the current economic condition of the country presents a good opportunity for Japanese investors to explore the energy sector portfolio of the Philippines.

Almendras is in Tokyo with other economic managers namely Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo.

A total of $ 40.6 billion (P1.827.19 trillion) worth of energy projects is targeted by the government until 2030.

Almendras stressed that the investors will have a favorable market in the Philippines because of the growing demand for power.

International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions earlier announced that the country’s GDP is set to grow by five percent this year and will continue to have a strong economy therefore more energy requirement is needed.

"It is estimated that the population will be 95 million this year which translates to a big market for electricity and other power related projects. We therefore encourage the Japanese companies to present new projects to serve the growing needs of the country," Almendras said.

In his presentation, Almendras announced that Luzon will be needing 11,900 megawatts (MW), Visayas about 2,150 MW, and Mindanao around 2,500 MW until 2030.

Aside from the power sector, Almendras also identified investment opportunities in the exploration of oil, gas, coal, renewable energies and alternative fuels.

He stressed the importance of the exploration of oil and gas to address the country’s problems in energy security, self-sufficiency and climate change impacts.

The country has a mean total resource of 8,895 billion barrels of oil equivalent and has an estimated available supply of 28,531 billion cubic feet of gas and 3,629 billion barrels of oil. There are currently 12 petroleum exploration contract areas open for investors.

Investors are also encouraged to participate in the establishment of LNG terminals in Southern Mindanao and Sarangani as well as a strategic infrastructure in Luzon to help the government push for natural gas as a transition fuel for power.

The government is also offering three coal contracts for exploration.

Almendras also encouraged investors to initiate renewable energy projects or farm in to existing geothermal and hydropower projects.

In addition, the government is also looking at possible partnerships with international investors to help us promote and learn new ways in energy conservation, he added.

It can be noted that Japan, through its Energy Conservation Center, established the Asian Energy Efficiency and Conservation Collaboration Center in 2007 to promote energy conservation in Asian countries. (PNA)




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