US firm to build Ph’s first open access LNG terminal


A year after getting the green light from the government, Texas-based Excelerate Energy L.P. is about to begin construction for the country’s first open access liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Batangas.

In a statement, Excelerate Energy said that it is in the final phases of preparations to build the Filipinas LNG Gateway project.

Excelerate Energy said the project, to be located offshore in Batangas Bay, will provide access to Luzon-based natural gas power plants — all of which are in Batangas City, according to data from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Ramon Wangdi, President of Luzon LNG Terminal Inc., Excelerate’s local subsidiary, said that the company will soon submit to the DOE its Permit to Construct, Expand, Rehabilitate and Modify.

The open access model, which has been successfully adopted in major LNG markets abroad, is said to lead to cost efficiency for electricity consumers. This is because offshore floating LNG solutions are well-known for their substantially lower cost and faster market access.

Excelerate Energy further said that offshore LNG facilities such as Filipinas LNG would have a smaller onshore environmental footprint, a key feature for ecologically-sensitive environments like Batangas Bay.

The company added that this allows for LNG imports to be implemented sustainably, regardless of the path that energy markets take in the future.

Natural gas currently accounts for 21% of the Philippines’ power supply. The Malampaya gas field in Palawan is the country’s only indigenous source of natural gas. Its reserves are expected to be depleted between 2024 and 2027. The government is looking at LNG imports as an alternative.