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Metro Pacific signs MOU with Basic Energy

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Basic Energy Corp. (BEC, formerly Basic Petroleum Corp.) and Basic Biofuels Corp. (BBC) to assess the viability of setting up a joint venture company that would produce ethanol and related fuels. “Discussions with BEC and BBC are still in the preliminary stages and only upon completion of the due diligence review can the parties develop and reach an agreement on the framework that will include the ownership, organizational and transaction structure for a joint venture,” MPIC said in a statement. MPIC President Jose Maria Lim said the company and its consultants would conduct an extensive due diligence study of ethanol projects in the southern provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Bukidnon. Basic Biofuels, the former Zambo Norte BioEnergy Corp., is the developer, owner and operator of a Php2.8-billion (US$61.87 million) project to establish a sugar cane farm in Zamboanga del Norte and a 200,000-liter ethanol plant. Basic Biofuels has leased 10,000 hectares of land to plant sugarcane that will serve as the feedstock. It intends to start producing ethanol by 2009. (July 11, 2008)