DOE looking for challengers for Mindanao coal blocks

DOE coal

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is looking for challengers for several coal blocks in Mindanao under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP). 

The DOE recently published an invitation to challenge the application of the Grand Thermal Power Corporation which is looking to secure seven coal blocks along the boundary of Bislig City, Surigao Del Sur and Trento, Agusan Del Sur.

Applicants must submit legal, technical, and financial documents for the evaluation. A non-refundable application fee of Php200,000 is also required from interested bidders 

Only one predefined area of interest with a corresponding number of coal blocks as nominated and published are allowed for each application. 

The DOE will be conducting a pre-submission conference this Thursday, while interested investors have until March 15 to submit their applications. 

The PCECP was launched in 2018 to promote exploration activities in pre-determined and nominated areas with potential energy sources. Under the program, investors can nominate for their own exploration area. 

The DOE is pushing for the development of the country’s oil and gas sector through the PCECP, as it is crucial in establishing energy security since the Philippines heavily relies on imports. 

Just as the year began, Indonesia imposed a coal export ban, causing local coal-fired power plant operators to consider sourcing the fossil fuel from elsewhere.

Coal compromised half of the country’s energy mix in 2020, with imported coal accounting for 86% of the thermal energy used. Based on DOE data, Indonesia supplied 96.9% of the Philippines’ coal imports.