Meralco revives interest to join government in LNG project

Meralco revives interest to join government in LNG project

The Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) has expressed its willingness to become part of the government’s plan to develop an integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub, its top official said.

“We indicated with PNOC (Philippine National Oil Co.) our interest in any of their development,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said in a report.

Meralco is reliving its interest in participating in the said government projects after taking a step back because of the pricing and lack of clear energy mix policy.

The official added that establishing a gas-powered facility has always been in their options as it provides reliable, and affordable prices to consumers.

“We’ve always looked at [gas], it was never shelved. We always looked at it and we continue to look at it based on prevailing competitiveness in the whole energy mix. If the future is one of competitive gas prices, then it’s back in the agenda,” Reyes said.

The company is open to a partnership that would add value to the development of the gas sector, he added.

“Our approach has been largely to partner with established, credible partners. That has been our approach to generation, rather than do it solely. We would rather partner with a strategic, credible partner with a good track record, because then that validates your decision,” Reyes said.

Department of Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said at an event last week that the LNG hub is seen to have its groundbreaking by next year and online by 2020 “to safeguard against the anticipated depletion of the Malampaya gas facility in 2024.”

The PNOC was tasked by Cusi to construct an integrated LNG hub in the country that includes storage, liquefaction, regasification, and distribution facility, and even a reserve initial power plant of 200 MW in capacity.