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British firm to open natural gas refinery in Sulu

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By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Energy World International Ltd. (EWIL), a British firm engaged in energy development, is set to open a liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery plant in Sulu to help the island Moro province and other areas of Mindanao “cope with power shortage,” officials announced on Wednesday.

EWIL Executive Director Graham Elliott signed the enabling memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hadar M. Hajiri, chief executive officer and president of the Sulu-based Hadar and Medzar Oil and Gas Corp. (HMOGC), in Zamboanga City last Monday, September 16.

(L-R) Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, EWIL Executive Director Graham Elliott, HMOGC CEO/president Hadar Hajiri and MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol pose for photos after signing a memorandum of understanding for the building of a natural gas and oil refinery plant in Sulu in a ceremony held in Zamboanga City on Sept. 16 (Handout photo via Ali Macabalang / MANILA BULLETIN)

(L-R) Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, EWIL Executive Director Graham Elliott, HMOGC CEO/president Hadar Hajiri and MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol pose for photos after signing a memorandum of understanding for the building of a natural gas and oil refinery plant in Sulu in a ceremony held in Zamboanga City on Sept. 16 (Handout photo via Ali Macabalang / MANILA BULLETIN)

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Manny Piñol and Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, alongside other regional officials, said Amildasa Annil, former information bureau director of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The MOU prescribed EWIL’s bankrolling of building an LNG refinery plant at barangay Parian Kayawan in Lugus, one of island towns in Sulu tagged by investor group as Lugus Island Petroleum Park (LIPP).

The LIPP complex will include an LNG production and export terminal, a seaport, an airport, an industrial precinct, a residential area, and a power generation plant.

Elliott, representing his father EWIL Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Stewart W. G. Elliott, gave a powerpoint presentation detailing the proposed plant perspectives and his group’s earlier exploratory discovery of natural gas and oil deposits in Lugus island town.

In a testimonial message, Sobejana said the project will generate mass employment, power supply, and bring about other high economic impacts that will redound to social and security stability in Mindanao, particularly in Sulu. The island province is known for some enclaves by elements of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group.

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