By Lenie Lectura - April 26, 2017
LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp. has formally expressed interest to partner with state-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
“First Gen acceded to be a minority partner. That I can tell you, but not the details. They have been attending our negotiations. They recognize they need us more,” PNOC President Reuben Lista said.
PNOC plans to put up an LNG terminal consisting of an initial 200-megawatt (MW) modular power plant, storage and regasification facilities. “Our target is 2019, but the most practical will be in the middle of 2020 and 2021,” Lista said, when asked how soon PNOC can finish the project.
Lista added the possible entry of First Gen, which owns and operates a number of gas plants in Batangas, is “a win-win solution”. First Gen earlier said it was keen on building a $1-billion LNG terminal.
“Win-win solution because there will be continuity in the power generation. Kaysa sila ang gagawa, eh bibili ka pa din naman ng gas,” Lista said. Shell Philippines also expressed interest to build its own LNG terminal. However, there was no offer received by PNOC.
“Ang Shell, they came to us, but only for a visit. There was no offer. I heard they are planning to put up an FSRU [Floating Storage and Regasifying Unit]. I do not think they will push it, they probably thought we are not serious. Look at First Gen. They invited us to visit their area. The whole team went there in Batangas. They showed us their plans and I said, if they are really keen on putting it up, then I won’t put up my own anymore. Then they said let us partner,” Lista said. The list of interested foreign firms in investing on the country’s LNG sector has grown to 34 from 27 last month.
“By the end of the month, we will really see who are interested among them,” he said.
PNOC has earlier set end-April as deadline to accept offers for those wanting to take part in jump-starting the country’s LNG sector.
The foreign firms are from China, Spain, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Australia and United Arab Emirates.
“We are not competing with the private sector. This LNG project will actually help the private sector. We will assure there is a source of LNG if and when the Malampaya gas field fizzles out,” Lista said.