MANILA, March 19 (PNA) — The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Wednesday for $ 1 – billion worth of financing guarantees to further facilitate renewable energy (RE) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industries in the Philippines.
“The signing of the MOU is an important venue to cultivate partnerships and cooperation between the Philippine Government and the American private sector,” said Energy Undersecretary Raul B. Aguilos, adding that it can support the realization of energy projects in the country.
Under the said MOU, DOE and Ex-Im Bank will exchange information on trade and business opportunities and explore options for utilizing up to $ 1 Billion in Ex-Im Bank medium and long term loan guarantees and/or direct dollar loans to finance U.S. exports in support of selected energy projects in the Philippines.
In particular, the DOE and Ex-Im will work together in promoting business development opportunities on renewable energy and LNG facilities including port, receiving terminals, regasification facilities, pipelines and other transportation infrastructures.
DOE Undersecretary Raul B. Aguilos and Ex-Im Bank Board of Director Patricia M. Loui signed the MOU in the presence of newly-designated Philippine Senior Official on Energy Leader DOE Undersecretary Loreta G. Ayson, DOE Undersecretary Ramon Allan V. Oca, DOE- Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Director Jesus T. Tamang, and US Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Holly Vineyard at the Audio Visual Room of the DOE in Taguig City.
Likewise, members of the DOE Management Committee, delegates from Ex-Im Bank, heads of Philippine National Oil Company and its subsidiaries, and heads of key industry player associations such as Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, Petroleum Association of the Philippines, Biomass Alliance of the Philippines and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of American Affairs attended the event.
Currently, the DOE is formulating a fuel mix policy that would encourage energy diversification that is cleaner and sustainable including RE and LNG. By 2030, the DOE also targets 9,930 megawatts increase in the country’s RE capacity.
For LNG, the DOE pushes for the development of a Natural Gas Master Plan with the technical assistance from the World Bank through its transaction advisors the Lantau Group and Arup. Conducted in three phases, the phase 1 and 2 of the plan will be on the establishment of an investment and transactional framework, of which Phase 1 was already completed and Lantau is now working on the Phase 2 of the study. The Phase 3 will involve the creation of a Master Plan for the longer term.
The Ex-Im Bank offers long-term financing at competitive terms that is available to public and private sector companies in the Philippines, and has a history of providing long term finance for energy projects in the Philippines. Since 1993, Ex-Im Bank has provided US 1.3 billion in energy sector finance, virtually all of which has been repaid according to agreed loan schedules. In 1994, the Ex-Im Bank has financed geothermal power projects in the country including the Mahanagdong Geothermal power project in Leyte. (PNA)