PNOC targets geothermal power

PNOC Energy Development Corp, a unit of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co, has received approval for several geothermal projects as-well-as the $100-million Batangas-Manila gas pipeline project.

The Philippine government Investment Coordination Committee has approved the construction of a geothermal power plant in Palinpinon in the southern province of Negros worth 1.7 bln pesos.

The plant is expected to generate 20MW of electricity in the main island of the Visayas by using excess steam from the existing Palinpinon geothermal steamfield. Commercial operations are expected by December 2005.

PNOC says it has also has tied in with Japan's Marubeni Corp to take up a geothermal development project in Indonesia.

In 1992, PNOC-EDC and Pertamina conducted a joint technical and economic assessment of potential geothermal projects at three sites in Indonesia.

Initial findings show an estimated probable resource potential of 225 megawatts of electricity for Ulubelu, 300 MW for Tompaso, and 1,050-1,500 MW for Lumut Balai, Apostol said.

The company has also named ABN-Amro as its financial adviser for the $100-million Batangas-Manila, or Batman I, gas pipeline project.

ABN-AMRO will help PNOC-EC determine the extent of its participation in the project should it push for a joint venture with other groups, he said.

The Department of Energy recently granted PNOC-Exploration a permit to construct and operate Batman I.

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