THE Department of Energy (DoE) is encouraging potential Middle Eastern investors to explore for oil and gas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“In the case of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, we would like them particularly to invest in the Bangsamoro region,” Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said in a chat with reporters.
“While of course we are not limiting their investment interest to these areas, there is a natural affinity and there’s great interest on their part to be able to help out in the Bangsamoro region,” he added.
In July, the DoE and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy of the BARMM signed the Intergovernmental Energy Board Circular on the joint award of petroleum service contracts and coal operating contracts.
Mr. Lotilla said apart from Middle Eastern countries, the DoE has received interest from other potential investors from other parts of the world, including a “major company” interested in offshore projects.
“We have a number who have discussed with us. I am not yet at liberty to tell you which company but definitely, it is a major company that is looking at opportunities again, especially in the offshore areas of between Sulu and Mindanao,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lotilla reiterated that the transition to renewable energy is “not going to take place overnight” and will involve major costs.
“This means therefore additional cost not only for the developed countries but even for developing countries like the Philippines,” he said.
The DoE has said the energy sector industry will require investment of about $153 billion, with $97 billion for RE investment, including the pre-development and construction of power plants. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera