PNOC Seeks JV Partners for Power Plants Near Coal Mines

PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), the upstream oil and coal arm of Philippine National Oil Co., plans to put up two power plants near PNOC-EC's coal mines in Isabela and Zamboanga Sibugay. Combined, the projects are expected to cost Php 17.2 billion (US$400 million).

The company is looking for joint venture partners for the two facilities, which will have a capacity of 100 megawatts each. The selection of a partner will be conducted through a competitive public bidding since PNOC EC is largely owned by the government. Locating mine-mouth plants near coal mines reduces transportation costs for fuel.

PNOC EC is developing three new coal mines in Zamboanga Sibugay, which should increase the company's coal production by 800,000 metric tons per year. Commercial production is scheduled to begin at the new mines between 2012 and 2015.

The company's 2012 plans also include construction of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to service the planned increase of CNG buses.

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