Government is still hopeful about the Philippines’ LNG-hub aspirations

Energy Mix Policy and pricing delay Meralco’s LNG entry

The Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and First Gen are still on board to spearhead the country’s LNG-hub aspirations with $2 billion worth LNG ‘megaproject.’

The large-scale LNG facility is expected to hold gas storage amounting up to five million tons per annum (MTPA) max capacity. In addition, a power plant is also in line for construction, which is set to garner an initial 200-MW.

The PNOC told reporters earlier it has yet to decide among the number of interested investors, ranging from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Before, the agency was overloaded with around 55 domestic and international proposals, which led to the failure to file a recommendation to the Energy Department last July.

It is said that a similar facility is also planned to be built in Batangas owned by the PNOC to meet the country’s future energy requirements. The construction would cost around P100 billion and is expected for completion by 2020 — four years ahead of the Malampaya plant depletion, according to the DOE.

In spite of delays, DOE remains firm on the country’s breakthrough as an LNG-hub in Southeast Asia by 2018.

On the other hand, First Gen has been linked to the project since 2016, along with fellow industry players like Phinma Energy Corp. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., all of which have expressed interest in the ambitious initiative.

“We will continue to pursue it… We will be interested,” First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno said.

In the same year, First Gen offered 40% of its $1 billion LNG regasification terminal in the Batangas complex to potential shareholders in pursuit to expand its natural gas facilities.