September 12, 2007 (Inquirer.net) THE PNOC ALTERNATIVE FUELS Corp., a subsidiary of the Philippine National Oil Co., is seeking the help of private fund groups to bankroll planned jatropha-related projects.PNOC-AFC president and chief executive Peter Anthony Abaya said the government firm would submit proposals to financial institutions such as Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Barclays Capital, McQuarie Bank and United Coconut Planters Bank.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation could also be tapped for funding support, he said.
“Our proposals to them should cover funding for plantations and refineries,” Abaya said. “We’ll also approach private equity groups.”
But the PNOC-AFC would continue to rely more on partnerships with private companies, rather than private lenders.
“We’re seeing potentially seven to 10 foreign partners coming in, some just for plantations and some with refineries,” Abaya said. “We hope to sign some agreements within this year.”
The Land Bank of the Philippines has made available between P5 billion and P10 billion worth of funds for farmers and farmer groups wanting to establish their own jatropha plantations and even their own refineries and other facilities.
Under the agreement, LandBank would provide loans to qualified farmers or farmer groups wanting to venture into jatropha-related activities, including the establishment of plantations and refineries.
PNOC-AFC, on the other hand, will help identify prospective jatropha growers who can avail themselves of financing from LandBank.
It will also enter into production, technical and marketing agreements with farmers, farm groups, cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, corporations and other qualified entities for jatropha biodiesel-related projects.
PNOC-AFC will also serve as a seed buyer to assure them of a steady and sure market for their harvests.