Several international companies have expressed their interest in joining the bidding for native hydrogen exploration and development in the Philippines, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

'When we did our roadshows on promoting these blocks, we were pleasantly surprised at the level of interest in the areas we are bidding out for hydrogen exploration,' Energy Undersecretary Alessandro Sales told a briefing last week.These, he said, include companies from Australia, Europe and North America.

'These hydrogen contracts are in fact novel in today's world because, apparently, it's only the Philippines that has bid on an area purposely for hydrogen exploration,' Sales added.

The DOE in February opened the bidding for native hydrogen exploration, offering two predetermined areas (PDAs) in the provinces of Zambales and Pangasinan.

The PDA-PH-1 and PDA-PH-2 cover 134,096 hectares and 96,439 hectares, respectively.

Asked about Japanese and Chinese firms entering the bidding process, Sales said that both Japan and China manufacture hydrogen using a distinct method compared to the Philippines.

He explained that the countries are moving forward by producing the indigenous source through electrolysis, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

'But what we're doing is enabling the other side of it, producing naturally occurring hydrogen,' the undersecretary noted.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, for his part, said that the bidding sparked strong interest from Europeans as the naturally occurring hydrogen 'has been discovered in Mali and France.'

The deadline for submission of bids is Aug. 27, while the notices of qualifications will be announced on Sept. 24.

Sales earlier said that the agency will select applicants who can show a strong grasp of the possible resource potential of PDAs and execute a work program to efficiently map and test this potential.


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