Projects and energy in Philippines

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

The highly regarded mining, projects and energy department at Fortun Narvasa & Salazar provides a comprehensive service, covering project finance, regulatory, corporate and tax. Notwithstanding the downturn in the Philippine mining industry, the firm has continued to advise significant foreign mining companies on their projects in the country. Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp. is a key domestic client in this space; the team has recently assisted it on tax and financing matters, and also represented it before the Environmental Management Bureau in a case concerning alleged environmental permit violations. It has also been actively advising clients in the renewable energy sector on recent projects, in addition to having an established base of oil and gas-sector clients. Practice head Roderick Salazar III 'maintains an eagle eye on the development of the case and is always ready to give his own take on it'. Senior associate Sheila Sison specialises in dispute resolution and mining, often representing mining companies before regulatory bodies.

Practice head(s):

Roderick Salazar III

Other key lawyers:

Sheila Sison

Testimonials

The firm has a well-established structure and has been in the market a long time. There is an expert assigned to the different concerns of clients‘.

The team’s key strengths are its efficiency, industry knowledge, out-of-the-box approach and long-standing relationships with government agencies’.

Roderick Salazar III is a very effective partner; he is hands-on in all facets of the operation‘.

Key clients

FCF Minerals Corporation

Intex Resources Philippines, Inc.; Aglubang Mining Corporation

Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp.

SEMCO Exploration and Mining Corporation

Rugby Mining Limited

Juwi Renewable Energy Projects Pte Ltd.

Manta Oil Limited

Yamato Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • In 2019, represented key client Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp. before the Environmental Management Bureau to rebut alleged environmental permit violations.
  • Assisted Aglubang Mining Corporation in applying for and obtaining the approval of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of an amendment to an approved Exploration Work Program in connection with the fourth renewal of the exploration period under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement.
  • Advised FCF Minerals Corporation on an amendment to its facility agreement and omnibus agreement with Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and BNP Paribas, leading to a payment of US$500,000 and an equity raising of US$20,000,000 from existing shareholders.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)'s projects group expanded with the arrival of Annalisa Carlota from Asian Development Bank in 2018. This followed the earlier arrival of Albert Vincent Yu Chang from another leading firm. The team often advises energy companies on power purchase agreements and supply contracts, and also assists with corporate, dispute resolution, regulatory and tax issues. Major work highlights include its work for the North Luzon Airport Consortium (consisting of Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings and two others) in its successful tender for the concession to operate and maintain Clark International Airport; the team is now assisting the consortium in the incorporation and setting up of the joint venture company. It is also regularly engaged by major international banks in project finance transactions. Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is a key figure in the department.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Renato Gatmaytan; Norma Margarita Patacsil

Key clients

Filinvest Development Corporation

JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

Changi Airports Philippines (I) Pte Ltd,

Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc.

Dole Philippines, Inc.

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited

Challenergy Inc.

Republic Cement and CRH

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, Inc. and its affiliates

AAC Optics Philippines, Inc.

ArthaLand Corporation

DBS Bank Ltd.

Mizuho Bank Ltd.

MUFG Bank Ltd.

Standard Chartered Bank

wpd Wind Worldwide GmBH (wpd)

Work highlights

  • Assisted the North Luzon Airport Consortium in its successful tender for the concession to operate and maintain Clark International Airport.
  • Advised Leighton Contractors (Asia) on a review of downstream contracts for the North Luzon Expressway segment-R10 exit ramp project.
  • Acted as Philippine counsel to DBS Bank, Mizuho, MUFG and Standard Chartered Bank in documenting and finalising a facility agreement to AEV International Pte Ltd (as borrower) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (as guarantor).
  • Assisted four banks in structuring and documentation of a US$300,000,000.00 facility to Aboitiz Power Corporation to finance the latter’s acquisition of an interest in AA Thermal Inc.
  • Advised Dole Philippines on the documentation and negotiation of contracts to engage a generation company to install, operate and maintain a biogas generation facility at two of the client’s facilities.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano stands out for its 'ability to find solutions to legal issues which may otherwise cause deals to fall apart'. The projects and energy department is among the firm's strongest, and is complemented by the firm's leading banking and finance practice. Hence, it is particularly strong in project financing, though it also advises on bidding processes, project documentation and coordination with regulatory authorities. The firm is also notable for its experience in PPPs, where practice head Manuel Gonzalez is a key contact. Citicore Power is a key client; the team recently advised it on the acquisition of five renewable energy generation plants in Luzon and Mindanao with a total capacity of approximately 59.9MW, with its advice covering everything from the preparation of bid documents to the financing.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Gonzalez

Other key lawyers:

Mark Vergara; Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo; Erika Paulino; Gwyneth Ong; Florence Contreras

Testimonials

The team is very professional and responsive and stands out from the rest in its ability to find solutions to legal issues which may otherwise cause deals to fall apart‘.

The firm knows exactly what to look for and how to efficiently handle legal due diligence within the required time frame‘.

The team is our first choice in any transaction due to the lawyers’ exceptional ability to find solutions to key issues, which makes deal execution almost seamless‘.

Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo is knowledgeable, responsive and efficient‘.

Phil Ivan Chan works fast, reliable and resourceful‘.

Key clients

Citicore Power, Inc.

Nexif Energy Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to Citicore Power in its acquisition from Armstrong Asset Managers Singapore Pte Ltd and all of its local partners of five operating renewable energy generation plants located in Luzon and Mindanao.
  • Advised Nexif Energy Philippines Holdings and ACX3 Capital Holdings in the acquisition of Calabanga Renewable Energy.
  • Acted as counsel to the syndicate of lenders in the PHP400m top-up by Land Registration Systems under the PHP8bn syndicated credit facility, the purpose of which was to refinance the company’s outstanding loan obligations incurred for the development and modernisation project of the Philippine Land Registration Authority.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices' sizeable projects and infrastructure group is often instructed in major power, infrastructure and real estate projects. In one highlight, Fidel Valeros Jr and a team acted for San Buenventura Power in the development, financing, construction and operation of a 460MW coal-fired thermal power plant located in Quezon Province; the team advised on the negotiation and drafting of the power supply agreements (PSA), the coal supply agreement, an EPC contract and the required regulatory approval. Najha Katrina Estrella heads the energy side of the practice, while Ramil Bugayong leads on infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Najha Katrina Estrella; Ramil Bugayong

Other key lawyers:

Monalisa Dimalanta; Fidel Valeros Jr; Sheryl Balot; Joseph Omar Castillo; Roberto Miguel Ramiro; Regina Jacinto-Barrientos

Work highlights

  • Advised Asian Development Bank in the competitive selection process by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the selection of a joint venture partner for the development of an electric power distribution system in New Clark City.
  • Acted as counsel to San Buenventura Power in relation to the development, financing, construction and operation of a 460MW coal-fired thermal power plant.
  • Acted for a client in its unsolicited proposal for a reclamation project.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres has industry-focused groups, one of which is the firm's leading energy, mining and infrastructure practice, which is led by the highly experienced Dennis Quintero. The team has seen an uptick in transactions in renewable energy, and also remains active across the mining, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors. Quintero and a multi-disciplinary team of finance, corporate and tax lawyers advised Changi Airports International (which is a member of the consortium which won the bid for the Clark International Airport operations and maintenance contract) on the Philippine regulatory framework and consortium matters. Lourdes de Leon retired from the firm. Donemark Calimon heads the firm's industrials, manufacturing and transportation industry group and specialises in dispute resolution, often acting in mining and environment-related litigation.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Quintero

Other key lawyers:

Donemark Calimon; TJ Mendoza; Ina Alexandra Dominguez

Key clients

Korea Water Resources Corporation

Hero Future Energies Asia Pte. Ltd.

Metex Mineral Resources Corporation

Felix Petroleum Pte Ltd.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures/Egerton Mining

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Cleantech Energy Corporation Pte Ltd

Acciona Energia S A

Changi International Airport Pte. Ltd.

Energy Development Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Changi Airports International as a member of the consortium which won the bid for the Clark International Airport operations and maintenance contract.
  • Assisted Energy Development Corporation, the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines, in connection with its delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

The sizeable projects and energy practice at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan acts for major companies across the oil and gas, power, financial services, telecoms and water sectors. In addition to handling the gamut of regulatory, commercial, corporate and litigation issues relevant to these sectors, the firm also stands out for its ability to advice on more niche and uncommon issues, such as satellite regulations and agrarian reform exclusions. In high-profile work, a team led by Philbert Varona and Joan Mae To-Conejos advised MetroPac Water and Maynilad Water Services on the bid for the concession for the development, operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater infrastructure at New Clark City in central Luzon; the 9,450-hectare city is envisioned as the country’s first smart, disaster-resilient and sustainable city. Rocky Alejandro Reyes is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Rocky Alejandro Reyes

Other key lawyers:

Hector De Leon; Angel Salita Jr; Arlene Maneja; Joan Mae To-Conejos; Marievic Ramos-Anonuevo; Imelda Manguiat; Philbert Varona

Testimonials

Arlene Maneja has always been an asset to me and my team. Arlene has deep legal knowledge and an all-encompassing grasp of the deal from multiple angles, and she is also highly commercial in her thinking and structuring‘.

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation

PLDT, Inc.

Aboitiz Power Corp.

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

Bell Canada

United Laboratories, Inc.

Marriott

TMI Associates

Mitsui Fudosan

Mitsubishi Corporation

MasterCard

Gilbert & Tobin

Mitsui & Co

Skadden Arps

Hyatt International

Eversheds

Work highlights

  • Assisted MetroPac Water and Maynilad Water Services in the bidding by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the concession to develop, operate and maintain the Water and Wastewater Infrastructure at New Clark City.
  • Assisted Meralco in the competitive selection process for the procurement of a power supply agreements for 414MW with First NatGas Power Corp.
  • Advised KEPCO Philippines Holdings on the acquisition of 38% interest in Solar Philippines Calatagan, the owner of a 63.3MW solar power plant.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises multilateral international organisations, local government units and private corporations in energy, water, mining and infrastructure projects. Areas of expertise include PPPs, project finance, permitting, M&A, joint ventures and project operating agreements. It also handles litigation and arbitration involving the extractive industries. Patricia Bunye advises Sagittarius Mines on various legal matters, including those pertaining to its Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, which faces significant hurdles before it may operate, including the cancellation of its environmental compliance certificate. Pancho Umali stands out for his extensive knowledge of indigenous peoples' law, and Manuel Manaligod Jr has particular knowledge of infrastructure projects that utilise build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) schemes.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Bunye; Manuel Manaligod Jr

Other key lawyers:

Pancho Umali; Eric Dykimching; Fernand Joseph Miranda; Alpheus Macalalad; Francis Fragante

Testimonials

This firm provides quality service‘.

The professionals in Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia provide on-time and high quality legal opinions‘.

Very commercial and well connected. Strong experience in the industry. Provides reliable and well considered advice‘.

Key clients

Sagittarius Mines, Inc.

RTG Mining Inc.

Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation

Green Energy Management & Holdings, Inc.

Filminera Resources Corporation

Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

CHC Resources Corporation

AGP International Holdings Ltd.

Cemex Strategic Philippines, Inc.

Tewet Philippines, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Provides advice to Sagittarius Mines on various legal issues, including those affecting its Tampakan Copper-Gold Project.
  • Provides comprehensive legal services to key client Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation, which is undergoing permitting and exploration work towards the development of the Mabilo Project in Labo.
  • Represents various business organisations in the Philippines in a petition before the Supreme Court questioning regulations issued by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.
  • Advised a consortium on the unsolicited proposal for the construction and development of a light railway-based mass transportation system.

Gulapa & Quicho (Gulapa Law)

The 'absolutely trustworthy' team at Gulapa & Quicho (Gulapa Law) provides 'sound and practical advice'. Although it is a relatively young firm in the Philippine market, it has quickly established its presence. It has also expanded its partner-level team in the past couple of years, most recently with the promotion of Jose Angel Machuca to the partnership in 2019. The firm has experience representing private bidders in PPPs, particularly for rail, road and port projects, and it also counts financial institutions among its clients. A new client in 2018 was SM Prime Holdings; Aris Gulapa and a team advised the company on its selection of a contractor for its ambitious reclamation project involving 360 hectares of land in Manila Bay. Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim is a key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim; Aris Gulapa

Other key lawyers:

Jose Angel Machuca;

Testimonials

The Gulapa Law team is very diligent, very quick and very creative‘.

Gulapa lawyers are very proactive and creative in finding solutions. They are also very flexible and will not hesitate to provide help even if outside their scope of work‘.

Aris Gulapa, Jose Angel Machuca and Charmaine Lim are diligent and intelligent. They have a good commercial sense and are an asset to a project‘.

Key clients

APO Production Unit, Inc.

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Manila Water Company, Inc.

Asian Development Bank

JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation

Infracorp Development, Inc.

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.

SM Prime Holdings Inc.

International Finance Corporation

Prime Asset Ventures Incorporated

Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission

Xian Electric Engineering Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised SM Prime Holdings on its selection of a contractor for its reclamation project, which involves the reclamation of 360 hectares of land in Manila Bay.
  • Acted for Infracorp Development in the preparation of its unsolicited proposal for a cable-propelled land transit system. Once completed, the project is estimated to serve around 53,343 people per day.

Mosveldtt Law

Mosveldtt Law acts for companies operating in the water, petroleum, infrastructure, electronics and renewable energy industries. The team is particularly visible in the PPP market, and has recently handled a number of utilities and renewable energy projects. This included advising Laguna AAAWater Company on its joint venture with the Pagsanjan Water District (PAGWAD) for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of the water supply and sanitation facilities in the PAGWAD service area; Jerry Coloma and Aldrich Fitz Dy led the advice, with support from key associate Sheena Marie Morales. Elsewhere, Rodolfo Tuazon Jr assisted NKS Solar One in the development of a 60MW solar power plant, including advising on permitting issues and commercial viability.

Practice head(s):

Jerry Coloma; Nicholas Felix Ty; Rodolfo Tuazon Jr

Work highlights

  • Acted for NKS Solar One in the early stages of development of a 60MW solar power plant in Laguna.
  • Advised solar energy GRM Cagayan Valley on the application for a service contract for the development of a 50MW solar power plant in Cagayan Valley.
  • Acted as counsel to the Manila Water Consortium in the contractual joint venture with the Tanauan Water District (TWD) for the design, construction, operation, financing and management of the water supply and sanitation facilities and services of TWD in the City of Tanauan, Batangas.
  • Advised Laguna AAAWater Company on a joint venture with the Pagsanjan Water District (PAGWAD) for the water supply and sanitation facilities in the service area of PAGWAD.

Puno & Puno Law Offices

Puno & Puno Law Offices advises large energy companies including Manila Electric Company and Visayan Electric Cooperative. The team is led by senior partners Roderico v. Puno, Jose Layug, Jr. and Julito Sarmiento.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises clients on the exploration and development of natural resources, including mining. It also advises domestic and foreign clients on project finance.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) advises on energy, infrastructure, telecoms and real estate projects, with a particular specialism in renewable energy. In cross-border projects, the firm benefits from its membership of the Asean Plus Group, which comprises firms in nine jurisdictions. Raoul Angangco and Paul Rodulfo Imperial - who was recently promoted to partner - advised Alpha Southstar General Construction Corporation on an unsolicited proposal to be submitted to the National Housing Authority for the development of a new township to be located in an eleven-hectare lot in Batasan Hills, Quezon City. Maria Concepcion Simundac devotes a significant portion of her practice to renewable energy projects, where she advises clients on regulatory matters, risk assessment, project development and project financing.

Practice head(s):

Raoul Angangco; Sylvette Tankiang; Franchette Acosta

Other key lawyers:

Paul Rodulfo Imperial; Maria Concepcion Simundac; Kristin Charisse Siao

Key clients

Alternergy Mini Hydro Holdings Corporation

Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, Inc.

Alpha Southstar General Construction Corporation

Portuguese Realty, Inc.

The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.

Nation Water Corporation

Globe Telecom/ Innove Communications, Inc.

BayWa R.E. Solar Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (“EE&C”) Bill and proposed GEMP Pilot Energy Monitoring System Project.
  • Assisted Alpha Southstar General Construction Corporation in the preparation of an unsolicited proposal for the development of a new township.
  • Advised The Chugoku Electric Power Co. on a joint venture for the purpose of incorporating a coal-based electric company in the Philippines.

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila advises on government contracts including those for construction, power and energy, mining, acquisition of assets and toll operation agreements. Key team members include Magdangal Elma and Roberto Parel.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim provides advice on mining and exploration, and energy and power. Clients include Benguet Corporation, Jinchuan Group International Resources, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation, Andorra Immobilien, Bottled Gas Trading, Gasso Fuel Trading, Hitachi Asia, Northern Luzon UPC Asia and Stumpf Energy.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises clients in the energy, oil and mining industries on projects in the Philippines and abroad. Recent projects work includes advising International Container Terminal Services on its contract for the development and operation of Manila International Container Terminal.

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño is particularly active in the renewable energy sector. The firm continues to advise two companies in investments in the renewable energy sector in the Philippines, including in their investment and project financing of biomass power companies. In addition, the team acts as counsel for a solar panel manufacturing company in its investments in several joint venture companies. Rachelle Aileen Santos and Mia Carissa Martin are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Rachelle Aileen Santos; Mia Carissa Martin

Other key lawyers:

Maria Karissa Tanhueco

Work highlights

  • Advised a solar panel manufacturing company in its investments in several joint venture companies likewise engaged in the renewable energy industry, specifically solar energy.
  • Acted for two companies in various investments in the renewable energy sector in the Philippines, specifically the investment and project financing of biomass power companies.
  • Advised a client on its service agreements with solar power and renewable companies.

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso advises privately owned electric distribution utilities, electric co-operatives, traditional power generators and renewable energy power generators, among others, on project development, regulatory matters and dispute resolution. Also significant is the length of many of its client relationships; several clients have been working with the firm for a number of decades. Miguel Mathay and Manuel Torres are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Mathay; Manuel Torres

Other key lawyers:

Gianna Comsti

Key clients

Dagupan Electric Corporation

First Gen Corporation

Energy Development Corporation

First Philippine Holdings Corporation

FDC Utilities, Inc.

Philippine Electric Power Operators Association

Iligan Light & Power, Inc.

Olongapo Electric Distribution Company, Inc.

Angeles Electric Corporation

Petron Corporation

Mactan Electric Company, Inc.

Clark Electric Distribution Corporation

Cagayan Electric Power and Light, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Sought regulatory approval, on behalf of client Bac-man Geothermal for the construction of a limited point-to-point transmission line.