3 ‘serious’ investors for LNG import terminal in shortlist

By Myrna M. Velasco – October 30, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

Three-investor groups have already stepped up and made formal offer to the Philippine government on their plans to set up the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal project.

So far, according to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, these are First Gen Corporation with its Japanese partner Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.; Uy-led Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC); and state-run Philippine National Oil Company.

The energy secretary is eyeing selection of the LNG import facility investor concluded by the end of next month or at least within the year.

Cusi primarily refers to the investing parties that already made formal application to the Department of Energy (DOE) on the proposed LNG terminal – and these have been carved out from the initial 18 firms that had participated in the pre-application processes at the agency.

PNOC, for its part, is in the process of selecting strategic partner on its planned floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in a tendering process that it kicked off in September.

The state-run company had so far changed its approach in tapping a co-venturer – from unsolicited proposals to accepting solicited tenders; and had also shifted technology approach to FSRU from an option then of having an onshore LNG terminal.

For First Gen, it has always been firm on its target to set up an onshore LNG import facility proximate to its power plant sites in Batangas.

The Lopez firm’s capacity plan is for 5.0 million tonnes per annum and that will likely require an investment of US$1.0 billion.

The Phoenix-CNOOC joint venture is practically the ‘new guys in the block” for this sector – although that tie-up has been making inroads especially with the offer of Phoenix Petroleum Chief Executive Dennis Uy to the Pangilinan group to join them in the venture.

Businessman Manuel Pangilinan’s energy investment units though – like the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) or Meralco PowerGen – have yet to make commitments if they are inclined to join the Uy-led LNG projects.

Essentially, Phoenix Petroleum had bought into the upstream petroleum firm of the MVP group – PXP Energy as well as on its mining firm Philex Mining Corporation; and as some sort of swap offer, Uy had given the Pangilinan group preferential rights to join them in the LNG ventures. (MMV)