* Chinese, Japanese, Korean investors keen on investing
* Lifting of suspension on S China Sea exploration under
(Adds quotes, background)
MANILA Feb 27 The Philippines needs to build an
additional 7,000 megawatts of power generation capacity over the
next five years to support its growing economy and is seeking
foreign investors in the sector to meet those needs, its energy
minister said on Monday.
Investors from China, South Korea and Japan have expressed
an interest in participating in Philippine power projects,
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told Reuters in an interview.
The Southeast Asian nation, with a population of more than
100 million people and one of the world's fastest growing
economies, aims to double its power generation capacity by 2030
to avoid a return to the frequent blackouts suffered during the
At the end of June 2016, the country had installed capacity
of 20,055 megawatts, with a third of it fuelled by coal,
according to government data.
"The Philippines is open for business. We want investors,"
Cusi said, adding it was the reason why a Manila delegation led
by President Rodrigo Duterte visited China last October, when
Chinese officials pledged $15 billion of investment to the
Cusi also said the Philippines is waiting for clarity on its
relations with China before lifting a suspension on oil and
natural gas exploration in disputed areas in the South China
The country is studying whether it is "high time to lift the
suspension," he said.
Cusi said any exploration activities would require approval
of the Philippine foreign ministry, which was responsible for
consultations with China.
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz and Martin Petty; Writing by
Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)