ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines to offer coal contract bids
The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) will bid out coal exploration and development contracts in October.
Undersecretary Jay Layug said the department has finalized five coal projects that would be auctioned off to interested bidders. He said the agency could add five more to the final count.
“We may be looking at I think additional five more because we need a final go signal from DENR na walang overlap,” he said, referring to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The 10 prospective coal projects are located mostly in Mindanao.
The proposed bidding round for coal projects will fall under the DOE’s Philippine Energy Contracting Round, a public bidding round for energy projects started in 2005 to spur the development of indigenous power sources.
In 2009, the DOE awarded more than 10 coal contracts under the PECR with potential investments of around P580 million.
Coal is considered one of the cheapest fuel for electricity production and takes up roughly over a quarter of the country’s power generation mix.
Various cause oriented groups and local government units, however, continue to oppose the development of coal projects because of the commodity’s alleged deleterious effect on health and the environment.
Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras earlier said that all coal power plant projects in the country are facing difficulties because of resistance from said groups.
And if they continue to block these projects, “we will have brownouts in 2014,” he had warned.
Besides its cheap fuel source, coal-fed generating facilities take a shorter time to construct.
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