By Celeste Anna R. Formoso
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 11 (PNA) — The Palawan government is exploring the possibility of bringing the North Borneo oil and gas to the southern part of the province through an underwater pipeline that would cost around USD 250-million dollars to construct, according to Governor Jose Alvarez.
Alvarez disclosed this Friday during the Joint Energy Development Advisory Group’s (JEDAG) “Palawan Current Power Situation Forum” held at the VJR, Provincial Capitol Building.
The governor said he was due to fly to the tip of Borneo, the third largest island in the world in the Greater Sunda Islands archipelago, through the channel from the southernmost tip of Palawan as part of the provincial government’s exploration of the possibility.
“I will fly to the tip of Borneo; cross the channel from the southernmost tip of Palawan because I am exploring the possibility of bringing North Borneo (oil and) gas to southern Palawan,” he said to attendees of the forum that included Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron, former Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Jericho Petilla, OIC Sec. Zenaida Monsada, and other stakeholders.
Per initial knowledge, he said, bringing North Borneo’s petroleum product to, either Buliluyan, Bataraza, or Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan, would be possible through a 172-km. underwater network of pipelines that would cost around USD250 million at USD 1.5 million per kilometer to construct.
The pipeline, he said, would start the CNG that might be transported above the water via the “Roll On, Roll Off” (RORO) sea linkage at maybe 30-40 ISO or intermodal containers not only in Palawan but other provinces.
He said the provincial government was seriously mulling over this as he was worried that if he does not proceed, Del Monte Foods, Inc. (DMFI) would not pursue its USD 250-million investment in southern Palawan if not given a stable power supply it required in the next 12-24 months.
“I am worried that Del Monte will not proceed with their USD 250-million investment if I do not sign that I am going to give them power,” he said.
Alvarez said that DMFI’s investment was going to produce fresh pineapples and bananas.
He disclosed that he just came from Malaysia “to sign an agreement for the purchase of CNG in the meantime.”
“You know what they are (asking) me? Why are you buying from us, you have so much in southern Palawan? So, maybe later on, when there is a chance I can talk to (former) secretary Petilla and Acting Sec. Monsada on how to go about,” Alvarez said. (PNA)