Energy to Sign 5 Coal Exploration Contracts - MST

The Energy Department will sign five more coal operating contracts within the week, bringing the total to 16, an official said.

“We will have 16 contracts awarded out of the 30 areas offered,” Energy Undersecretary Ramon Oca told reporters.

Oca said the five contracts covered “areas that had multiple proponents or applicants so we just had to be very careful in evaluating the application.”

The department awarded last month 11 coal exploration contracts that could generate investments of around P580 million in the next two years.

The government on April 14 launched the energy contract rounds to promote and offer prospective coal areas to both local and private investors for l exploration, development and production.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes earlier said the promotion of local coal exploration and development would boost energy security and generate savings from imports.

Reyes said coal might be seen as a “dirty fuel” but cited clean coal technologies that would minimize the impact on the environment.

“We can produce clean coal through clean coal technologies,” Reyes said.

The department awarded the coal contracts to Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp., Titan Exploration and Development Corp., MS-SK Coal Corp., Lebach Mining Corp., 3 Kings Sunrise Mining Corp., Eoil and Gas Co. Inc. and ASK Mining and Exploration Corp.

Reyes said the Philippines had an undeveloped coal resource potential of 2.5 billion metric tons.

Source: Manila Standard Today - 28 October 2009

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