Saturday, September 28, 2019

Dusit International Continues Global Expansion with New Dusit Princess Hotel in Central Kathmandu, Nepal

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal is Slated to Ipen in Q3 2020.

Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has signed an agreement with Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd. to develop and operate Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal – the second Dusit-branded hotel set to open in Nepal – in Q3 2020.

Operating under Dusit’s upper-midscale Dusit Princess brand, the new hotel will comprise 108 well-appointed guest rooms in a prime location in the capital’s vibrant Lazimpat neighbourhood. The area is home to various international institutions and is just a short walk from the bustling eateries and shops of Thamel.

Tribhuvan International Airport and major cultural attractions such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, and Swayambhunath Stupa can be reached in 20 minutes by car.

Designed to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers alike, hotel facilities will include an outdoor swimming pool and pool bar, a rooftop lounge-bar, a fully equipped fitness centre, a spa, and meeting facilities. An all-day dining restaurant will serve daily buffet breakfast plus a variety of international and local cuisines.

In keeping with the Dusit Princess brand, each room will feature high-quality beds, a cosy bathroom, modern amenities, and a contemporary design reflecting local style and culture to provide high levels of comfort and convenience.

“We are delighted to partner with Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd. to bring our unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality to Kathmandu for the first time,” said Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International. “Surrounded by popular cultural attractions, centuries-old religious sites, several embassies and major businesses, Dusit Princess Kathmandu is perfectly positioned to link guests with everything this fascinating city has to offer. We now look forward to delivering a hotel experience that delights on all fronts while providing sustainable value to all our stakeholders.”

Mr Dorje Gyaltsen Lama, Managing Director, Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd., said, “Nepal welcomed more than 1.1 million tourists in 2018 – up 25% YOY – and the country’s tourism industry just keeps going from strength to strength. To capture this fast-growing market, we were determined to find a distinctive partner with international experience, a track record for excellence, and a commitment to having a positive local impact. We are delighted Dusit is that partner, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship together.”

Dusit International’s property portfolio now comprises 271 properties (nine owned and 262 managed) operating under six brands across 13 countries. The company has more than 50-Dusit branded hotels in the pipeline and expects to open at least 10-12 hotels per year in key destinations from 2020 onwards.

Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal is the second property Dusit International has signed to operate in Nepal. Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort & Spa, a luxury mountaintop resort in Nepal’s central region, is slated to open in Q1 2021 under a hotel management agreement.

DOTr Rail Sector Meets Bulacan Local Execs to Expedite Completion of Railway Projects

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In order to promote transparency and coordination on matters of mutual concern, officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade met with provincial and local officials from the government of Bulacan today, 25 September 2019, to discuss how to smoothly and efficiently implement railway projects in the province.

During the meeting, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando expressed his gratitude to Secretary Tugade and the DOTr for ensuring constant coordination with officials and stakeholders to expeditiously realize various transport infrastructure projects in Bulacan.

“Napaka-productive ng ginagawang ito ni Sec. Tugade at nako-coordinate kaming lahat. At least ngayon, alam na namin kung ano ‘yung mga development na mangyayari. Kaya ganun na lang ang pasasalamat namin kay Secretary Art, kay Pangulong Duterte at sa administrasyong ito,” Governor Fernando added.

For his part, Secretary Tugade assured local and provincial officials that the ongoing projects of the government will continue to move forward until completion.

“Makakaasa po kayong itong railway project natin ay hindi lang po ‘drawing’ ito. Ongoing construction na po kami para sa mas maginhawang pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan dito sa Bulacan,” Secretary Tugade said.

Railway projects in Bulacan

During the meeting, transport officials focused on two (2) railway projects, the PNR Clark Phase 1 and PNR Clark Phase 2, as part of the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

For PNR Clark Phase 1, Secretary Tugade reported that the rail line from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan is 2-3 months ahead of its construction schedule. Additionally, Secretary Tugade announced that 24/7 construction works have been implemented since July in order to achieve partial operability by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Secretary Tugade also mentioned that bidding for PNR Clark Phase 2, running from Malolos to Clark has received worldwide attention, following the recent opening of bids that were participated by nine (9) international and two (2) local companies.

Addressing concerns

Local officials, for their part, raised concerns and clarifications on certain issues such as the provision of accessibility for senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in train stations, proper relocation of affected families, desired designs per train station based on the history of each municipality, provision of an easier access to the airport, and reduction of road congestion.

In response, both Secretary Tugade and PNR General Manager Junn Magno acknowledged these concerns and vowed to accommodate solutions that will expedite the completion of projects.

"Kung mayroon na po kayong mga ideya, i-submit niyo na po in writing upang masamahan po namin kayo at magawan ng paraan ang inyong mga suhestyon," GM Magno said.

The transportation chief likewise suggested the conduct of regular meetings to fast-track railway projects and immediately address lingering issues.

“Gusto kong mangyari, huwag ito ‘yung una at huling diyalogo natin. Kung maaari, gumawa tayo ng agarang schedule, para pagkatapos ng tatlo o apat na buwan, magkikita tayo para sa ganun, ‘yung ating pag-implement ng mga proyektong ito, kung mayroong mga red flag isyu na dapat sagutin, mapupunto po natin yan,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

Other officials present during the meeting were Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales Jr., Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz, Marilao Mayor Ricardo Silvestre, Meycauayan Mayor Linabelle Villarica, Angat Mayor Leonardo de Leon, Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus, Malolos Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, and DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon.

Friday, September 27, 2019

DOE Approves NTP for Excelerate’s FSRU LNG Facility

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Energy (DOE) on 20 September approved the Notice to Proceed (NTP) of the US-based firm, Excelerate Energy L.P., for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating storage & regasification unit (FSRU) facility in Batangas.

Excelerate has a fleet of nine operating FSRUs worldwide. The proposed FSRU LNG Facility in the Philippines will have a storage capacity of 150,000 cubic-meters, to be located at about 9.5 kilometers offshore in the Bay of Batangas.

Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “As proposed, by the third quarter of 2021 we are expecting that Excelerate’s FSRU LNG facility will commercially operate. With our continuing efforts to provide energy security, especially since we are anticipating the depletion of Malampaya gas, the establishment of LNG facilities bring a promising future for the country."

Within six months from the issuance of the NTP, Excelerate has to comply with the Permit to Construct (PTC) requirements, which are the submission of permits from various government agencies and endorsements from Local Government Units. They are also required to submit the proof of financial closing to the DOE.

Subsequently, the DOE will issue the PTC authorizing the actual construction of the FSRU LNG facility, in accordance with the Department Circular No. 2017-11-0012, or the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry”, upon compliance to the PTC requirements.

Based from the work program submitted by Excelerate, the completion of construction and commissioning of the facility will take around two years (October 2019 to June 2021) and the scheduled commercial operations date is on the third quarter of 2021.

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMC GPHC) also expressed their interest to be the target power customer of Excelerate. Starting January 2022, SMC GPHC will require a supply of natural gas for a continuous period of at least 15 years at commercially viable tariff rates of their existing and future Gas Fired Power Plants with a total gross capacity of up to 1,800 MW on a baseload basis.
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