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Monday, April 2, 2012

Manila may award bulk of 38 coal projects in 5 months

Monday, 02 Apr 2012

The Philippines received 68 bids for 38 coal exploration projects on Friday and said it could award more than half the contracts within the next five months, as it aimed to cut imports of costly fossil fuels and secure energy supply.
Bidders at the country's fourth, and biggest, tender for prospective coal blocks included Philippine miners Benguet Corp and Semirara Mining Corp., the country's biggest coal producer.

Energy Undersecretary Jose Layug told reporters at the opening of sealed bids for the tender that "We obviously have attracted a lot of investors, and the list includes new parties.”

Mr Layug said that there were no bidders for a few sites. Most of the prospective coal blocks are located on the mineral rich provinces on the southern Mindanao island.

Mr Layug said winning bidders would receive two year contracts to explore for coal and 23 year operating contracts if successful.

Foreign ownership of coal projects in the Philippines is limited to 40%.

The government estimates the Philippines has a total coal resource potential of more than 3 billion tons, mainly thermal coal used for power generation.

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