Lugus, Sulu Mayor Hadar Hajiri, president and CEO of the Hadar and Medzar Oil and Gas Corp. (HMOGC), visits and conducts an ocular inspection to the Energy World Group-Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant at Isla Grande, Barangay Polo in Pagbilao, Quezon. (Photo courtesy of Danny Estacio of MANILA BULLETIN)

Lugus Mayor Hajiri calls on govt to pursue Liquefied Natural Gas refinery plant in Sulu

Cotabato City– Lugus, Sulu Mayor Hadar Hajiri, Hadar, President and CEO of Medzar Oil and Gas Corp. (HMOGC) called on the national government Tuesday to push through with the liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery plant that is planned to be constructed in Sulu province for the benefit of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the country.

According to a Manila Bulletin report Thursday, Hajiri and officials from the BARMM joined the ocular inspection of Energy World Group power plant (EWIL) at Isla Grande, Barangay Polo, Pagbilao which is expected to operate in the middle of 2021.

Hajiri told the media that he is confident that President Rodrigo Duterte will push through with the project because Sulu Sea’s oil and gas reserve will provide a clean and affordable energy to Filipinos as well as the world.

“President Duterte told me that if you already have resources in BARMM, just utilize it so that I can approve it. We also have our investors in BARMM. I hope they will not prolong this so that we can already operate,” the Manila Bulletin quoted Hajiri saying.

“The approval of the project would be a “big help” in developing the city and would secure the future of the young generation,” said Lugus Municipal Information Officer Nurgafar Napii..

“So I am calling the national government and BARMM to support us in utilizing our natural gas in Sulu. Because we could not resolve our problems by only relying on the help of the government to develop the city, so at least if there is natural gas, 60 percent of that will go to the national government while 40 percent of that will go to the investors, that would be a big help,” Napii said.

“This is not owned by a single person alone, this is owned by the Bangsamoro people and the entire nation will benefit from this project. I hope the resources to be harnessed will also pave way to gain peace and harmony in Mindanao,” he added.

The EWIL, a British firm, is set to open an LNG refinery plant in Sulu after EWIL Executive Director Graham Elliott signed a memorandum of understanding with him (Hajiri) in Zamboanga City on Sept. 16.

He added that once completed, the project will be the single biggest investment in the BARMM, whose provinces and communities are perennial bottom-dwellers in the Philippines poverty index.

Hajiri foresees that with the development plan of Lugus Island Petroleum Park (LIPP) complex, several infrastructures will rise on the island. 

Lugus according to him will have an export terminal, a seaport, an airport, an industrial precinct, a residential area, and a power generation plant.

On October 22 this year, a ground breaking ceremony for the P163-billion Lugus Island LNG was held in Sulu to sustain the power demand of the Philippines, Hajiri also told the media.

Hajiri told the media during the ocular inspection of the power plant at Isla Grande, Barangay Polo in Pagbilao, Quezon that it is estimated the LNG extraction process in Lugus Island will last at least 50 years, that will generate employment as well as transform it to a world-class industrial and tourist destination.