(The Philippine Star) | Updated May 1, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - State-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) is seeking partners to develop a 220-hectare energy city in its property in Limay, Bataan, its top official said.
One possible partner is Energy Oil and Gas Holdings Inc. owned by businessman Gregorio “Greggy” Araneta, PNOC president Reuben Lista said.
“We invited him if he is still interested to offer us a better offer because their previous offer was not acceptable.
“It was not approved by the board then so it expired already in 2016. After he wrote us, we invited him for a dialogue so that he can present a better offer,” he said.
The Araneta firm has been under negotiations with PNOC for the Limay Energy City since 2015, however, the memorandum of agreement expired last year.
Of the 220 hectares, the Araneta group only wants to develop 90 hectares.
“What they wanted was 90 hectares only, which we could not give because what will happen to the 130 hectares that are not as good? The whole property would lose its value,” Lista said.
Several investors have expressed interest in developing the area but the Araneta firm was given the first shot since there have already been previous discussions with them, the PNOC official said.
“It is not only them who are now interested in the area. There are already other companies which expressed interest.
“When they found out that their MOA expired in 2016, there are others who already showed interest,” Lista said.
If deliberations drag PNOC will start talking with other parties to develop the energy city as soon as possible.
“If they don’t answer, then we have to entertain the rest. If government is required 15 days to respond, then we expect the same from private companies and even less probably,” Lista said.
PNOC is now going into coal and oil trading as it undergoes a major reorganization to transform it from an idle company into a performing and earning government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCC) starting 2017.