First Gen Corp. is looking to close its engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) tender and partner selection process for the $1 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in 2017 for constructions to begin in 2018, a top official said.
The company said they’re set to find an EPC contractor by 2017 and ink a partnership deal by the first semester, First Gen president and COO Giles Puno said that the Clean Energy Summit.
“We’re bidding out the EPC. We are releasing tender documents first thing in 2017,” he said. “Our partner selection [will be completed] hopefully by first half of next year.”
The Lopez-owned power company currently has five potential contractors in their shortlist while it is also in discussions with eight potential partners which are mostly Japanese and European firms.
Having multiple partners in undertaking the project is possible, but the company is taking its taking its time in assessing until the final decision is made for the LNG terminal, Puno said.
“What we’ve been doing is spending time with them to see what the fit is, what the chemistry of the partnership will be. The nice thing about it is we still have time, we don’t have to conclude this today. We need to be able to do it so by the time we make the investment decision tail-end of next year, that we would have a partner by then,” he said.
Puno added that site preparations have begun and construction is slated in 2018 once contractor and partner deals are sealed.
The plant will have the capacity to supply 5 million tons of natural gas, equivalent to 5,000 MW.
Puno added that the company is open to the government as they also have plants in constructing an LNG terminal to assure supply after the depletion and consummation of the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project.
The company official said that the government and First Gen can discuss the most feasible arrangement for the LNG terminal but added that it would take a longer time if the government will start from scratch.
“We could consider (a government stake in our project). It could be Public Private Partnership (PPP) effectively,” he said. “For me there is a grand opportunity for this administration to make it their legacy investment, to develop an LNG terminal in this term.”
First Gen’s planned LNG is also aimed to augment the LNG supply with the Malampaya depletion that has a total capacity of 2, 700 megawatts.
Malampaya provides power to the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo power plants of the Lopez Group, and the Ilijan plant of the San Miguel Group.