At least five foreign firms have expressed an interest in constructing and operating the proposed USD 100 million gas pipeline from Batangas to Manila (Batman I), a ranking government official has said. These firms are Japan Gas Corp., Korean Gas Corp., Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) of Malaysia, British Petroleum Plc. and Korean Electric Power Co. (Kepco). The five foreign gas companies have also signified their interest to convert the 300MW Sucat I and 600MW Limay diesel-fired power plants into natural gas facilities. Apart from Batman I, the government is also thinking of constructing two more gas pipelines from Bataan to Manila (Batman II) and Batangas to Cavite (Batcave). Four firms, on the other hand, also have plans of supplying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to the Philippines. These are: Qatar Gas, Petronas, BP and Unocal. The official said these firms have already informed the Department of Energy (DOE) about their plans to invest in the proposed 80km gas facility. Some of these companies, the official said, have also talked with the PNOC-Exploration Corp., the gas and oil exploration subsidiary of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), to look into the possibility of conducting feasibility studies with the state-owned oil firm.
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