Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Friday foreign and local companies will be allowed to participate in open and competitive selection process for the development of geothermal resources in the Philippines.
Cusi made the statement following his pronouncement last week that foreign companies would now be allowed to participate in large-scale geothermal exploration, development and utilization activities under OCSP3.
“The exclusive right to develop a geothermal resource will be granted through an open and competitive selection process. In this process, all proponents, whether foreign or Filipino corporations, will have to compete,” he said.
Cusi said there were conditions that foreign investors should meet if they wish to participate in the OCSP such as the project should be large-scale, with a minimum investment of $50 million and it should be under financial and technical assistance agreement as provided under the Constitution.
“The one with the best offer will get the RE Contract or in the nature of an FTAA should the foreign proponent win,” Cusi said.
Cusi said FTAAs may be entered into between foreign contractors and the Philippine government for the large-scale exploration, development and utilization of natural resources and are signed by the president.
He said geothermal resources are defined as mineral resources by Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
Cusi signed on Oct. 20 the circular providing the guidelines for the OCSP3 in the awarding of renewable energy service contracts.
“From an investment perspective, OCSP3 allows for 100-percent foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development, and utilization projects,” he said earlier.
Cusi expressed hope that RE would figure prominently in the country’s energy future.
“As the Philippine Department of Energy re-evaluates the appropriateness of our current energy mix vis-a-vis our energy goals, I am optimistic that this would lead to more opportunities for RE to figure prominently in our country’s energy future,” he said.
“I am determined to accelerate the development of our country’s indigenous resources. We are also pushing for the transition from fossil fuel-based technology utilization to cleaner energy sources to ensure more sustainable growth for the country,” he said.
The DOE earlier identified several geothermal areas for development including the 30-megawatt Mt. Labo geothermal project, 27-MW Daklan geothermal project, 9-MW Itogon geothermal project, 17-MW Puting Lupa geothermal project and 4-MW Maricaban Island geothermal project.