By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor
PHILIPPINE National Oil Co. (PNOC), the commercial arm of the Energy department, has formally invited interested bidders to participate as its joint venture partner in its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub in Batangas Bay.
In an advertisement placed in a local newspaper, PNOC called on bidders to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the LNG hub, which it wants to be classified as an “energy project of national significance” under Executive Order 30, the law that grants an easier regulatory permitting process.
“The PNOC reserves the right to accept or reject all or any submissions without assigning any reason whatsoever,” the company said in the ad.
“The PNOC also reserves the right to waive any minor defects in the eligibility document submissions of any bidder,” it added.
PNOC President and Chief Executive Officer Reuben S. Lista did not immediately take calls yesterday.
The company said interested private sector participants may secure eligibility documents, which will be made available for viewing at the PNOC’s website. It said in order to participate in the selection process, the interested joint venture partner must submit a letter of interest to the company along with the payment of P1 million during business operating hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The letter of interest should have the name of the potential bidder, the name of the authorized representative of the bidder, and representative’s contact details.
Deadline of submission of eligibility documents is at noon of Dec. 21, 2018. A pre-bid conference, which is open to the public, will be held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2018.
In its ad, PNOC said that at any time, it reserves the right to not proceed with the competitive selection process and the execution of the joint venture agreement plus other relevant concession documentation “without prior notice or liability and without any obligation to give any reason not to proceed.”
Sought for comment, DoE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos said the agency has yet to receive a complete proposal from the companies that are keen on building an integrated LNG facility.
Under existing regulation, all entities that are planning to build such facility would need approval from the DoE, which issues a notice to proceed for energy-related projects.
Nag-apply na ang CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp.) and Phoenix (Petroleum Philippines, Inc.). Partners ‘yung dalawa (China National Offshore Oil Corp. and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. have applied. They are partners.),” Mr. Marcos said.
In June, listed firm Phoenix disclosed that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the CNOOC gas and power group to study, plan, and develop an LNG receiving terminal project in the Philippines.
The CNOOC unit is owned by CNOOC Ltd., which Phoenix described as “the largest offshore oil and gas company in China and is also one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world.”
“It’s a race,” Mr. Marcos said, adding that the entity that first submits the complete document would be awarded the notice to proceed. He said the Phoenix-CNOOC partnership is not fully compliant yet.
Natural gas, said to be the cleanest fossil fuel, is usually transported through a pipeline, but if the deposit is large and the market is overseas, the gas may be liquefied for ease of shipping and moved via specialized tankers. Imported LNG is then regasified or reverted to its former state in the country of destination.