By Lenie Lectura - May 3, 2017
THE Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) strongly urged the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GCG) to allow it to increase its manpower in a bid to carry out various energy projects.
The state firm currently has a work force of 102. It needs to hire 151 more, PNOC President Reuben Lista said.
“I called the chairman of GCG, Samuel Dagpin, to reconsider our request for reorganization because I need more people for our projects to run. This is our first year to be an operational company,” he said.
One of PNOC’s power projects in the pipeline is a liquefied natural gas(LNG) terminal that will include a distribution and storage facility.
“This is our first request to CGC. I hope they understand the urgency. I will go there myself to explain the urgency and the need of such request because we have a big project. This LNG project will start at $1 billion and might end up to something like $2.4 billion,” he said.
Lista added his office could tap overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and he intends to coordinate with the Philippine embassies in Qatar, Oman, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. “Before the LNG plans become operational, we have to train and get people ready. We’re thinking of hiring OFWs and we’re using embassies to scout for them,”
The multibillion-peso LNG project may be achieved in cooperation with other countries.
“We are in talks with other countries for a government-to-government assistance,” Lista said.
The list includes Turkish, Japanese, Singaporean, Norwegian and Chinese investor groups. They have expressed interest to partner with PNOC for the planned LNG facility.
Lista said PNOC plans to equitize banked gas in the LNG tie-up deal.
“What’s important here is we use our banked gas immediately. You input banked gas in their computation as a forward equity. Smaller companies will retract so that, in itself, will start the shortlisting. Then you’ll see companies forming groups because this is government-to-government [G2G],” he said.
PNOC has 97 gigajoules (GJ) of banked gas that it can draw from the Malampaya field’s production—and that would be good to fuel a power plant of 200-megawatt capacity over the short- to medium-term.
“The key here is to assure the offtakers they have LNG. We are assuring them they will have a source of LNG after 2024,” Lista said.