DOE green lights new LNG project

Energy Mix Policy and pricing delay Meralco’s LNG entry

Department of Energy (DOE) has approved another liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, this time by Phoenix Petroleum Corp. in partnership with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

DOE Director Rino Abad said the Notice to Proceed (NTP) was signed by the department last December 21, 2008.

“December 21, 2018 is the effective date,” Abad said, adding the NTP document was released from the Office of the Secretary (OSec).

“We will not know if the NTP was signed unless the paper has been transmitted from the OSec. At that time, when we said it was not yet signed, what we were only aware that it was with the Centralized Review and Evaluation Committee [CREC],” Abad told BusinessMirror.

CREC is responsible for the processing of service contracts in different segments of the sector. The committee is currently chaired by DOE Undersecretary Donito Marcos.

The partnership between Phoenix Petroleum Corp. and CNOOC established Tanglawan Philippines as the registered joint-venture firm.

The joint-venture firm is planning to construct an LNG onshore terminal in Batangas with a total capacity of 5 million metric tons per annum, as well as a power plant with a generating capacity of 1,000 MW to 2,000 MW. This was stated during its application.

Abad said Tanglawan would have to secure other needed permits after it gets hold of the DOE-issued NTP.

“As provided by the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Regulation circular, the requirements for the next six months [extendable for another six months based on valid reasons] is for the company to get all the permits from other government agencies such as Environmental Compliance Certificate and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples,” Abad said.

“Also, if applicable, the local government unit endorsement, financial closing, etc. Upon compliance, it can now proceed to construction,” he said.

Two more firms also submitted their NTP applications

US floating LNG player Excelerate Energy filed early this month for their NTP with its plan to build a proposed floating LNG terminal.

Excelerate Energy plans to construct the facility in Batangas.

First Gen Corp. also submitted the same application to DOE.

In their application, First Gen Corp. and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd will construct an LNG terminal project in Batangas. Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd will have a 20 percent participating interest in the LNG project, and will provide support in development work.

First Gen operates four gas-fired power plants:  the 1,000 MW Santa Rita power plant, the 500-MW San Lorenzo power plant, the 414 MW San Gabriel power plant and the 97 MW Avion power plant.

In the case of Energy World Corp. (EWC), the DOE extended its permit to build the LNG import facility at Pagbilao Grande Island.

This gave EWC an additional 24-month construction period that will enable completion date for the first tank of the LNG facility to fall into the commercial operation date of the associated 650 MW power plant.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will also have time to adjust its switchyard expansion under construction and for the construction of the second LNG tank.

The 650 MW plant has been determined as the anchor off-taker of the LNG project, consisting of two 130,000-cbm LNG tanks, a dedicated jetty and marine infrastructure, and regasification and other ancillary facilities.