13 MTPA in LNG terminals eyed

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is aiming for 13 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity to be imported into the country through several investments proposed by private sector players.

Based on a Manila Bulletin report, DOE Energy Policy and Planning Bureau director Jesus Tamang noted that aside from renewable energy, the power sector’s capital flow will likely be dominated by gas, mainly for LNG import facilities and new ventures for gas-fired power facilities.

Previously, the DOE issued notices-to-proceed (NTP) to several LNG terminal projects, including those of Lopez-led First Gen Corporation, US firm Excelerate Energy, Lucio Tan’s Batangas Clean Energy, Energy World Corporation, A. Brown Company’s Vires Energy, Atlantic Gulf & Pacific, and Shell Energy Philippines.

The investors’ proposed facilities will initially lean on floating storage and regasification units, though there are others planning to set up longer term onshore LNG terminals.

Among the project-sponsor firms eyeing to come online by next year are Excelerate Energy, particularly by the second quarter of 2022; and the joint venture of First Gen and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. come the third quarter. 

Gas supply from the Malampaya field’s has been reported to substantially decline between 2022 and 2027. Given this, next year will be a crucial transition phase for the Philippine gas sector, which is why LNG imports are being eyed. Malampaya’s role in the Philippine power sector is vital since it accounts for a fifth of the country’s electricity supply.

With the expected post-pandemic economic rebound and the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country, power supply, especially in Luzon had been thinning, which was apparent during the Red Alerts leading to the rotational brownouts from May 31-June 2.

Given the power situation, investors like First Gen already planned to develop greenfield power projects that will be integrated into their LNG ventures, which will be through the proposed Santa Maria power project targeted for completion in 2024.

The country currently has five gas plants, all located in Batangas City and feeding on fuel from Malampaya.

Photo from KEPCO Philippines website.