First Gen eyes more partners for LNG project in Batangas

By Lenie Lectura – May 9, 2019
from Business Mirror

FIRST Gen Corp. of the Lopez group will soon firm up a list of additional partners for its LNG (liquefied natural gas) project aside from Tokyo Gas.

During the company’s annual meeting, First Gen President Francis Giles Puno said the company is working to achieve a Final Investment Decision (FID) by early 2020 or late this year for the LNG terminal, the groundbreaking of which is scheduled at the end of this month.

The FID will include decisions on “strategic partners” for the project.

“We anticipate that we will bring in more partners. In the meantime, between ourselves and Tokyo Gas, we want to proceed so the formal FID will entail a bigger, hopefully,  a complete group of owners.  But, in the meantime, between ourselves and Tokyo Gas, we will go and ground-break already because we should continue the momentum,” Puno said.

Tokyo Gas will take a 20-percent participating interest in the FGEN LNG project.

“Right now, we have 80 percent, and Tokyo Gas 20 percent. But we don’t intend to own the entire 80 percent, we can go down to 50 percent, 51 percent,” Puno said.

First Gen Chief Commercial Officer Jon Russel said the company is in talks with foreign and local firms.

“We’re in advanced discussion with a number of entities. We will announce within the next few months. We’re talking to many different companies from all nationalities. We will also very likely add partners, which should be from the Philippines,” he said.

The construction of the FGEN Batangas LNG terminal project, to be located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City, will be completed in four years. First Gen is currently finalizing the engineering, procurement and construction tender process. It will choose between Fluor-Global Engineering and Construction Co., and JGC Corp.

“It’s down to two bidders—Fluor or JGC. We hope we will make the decision in the next couple of months,” Russel added.

The company set aside $250 million in capital expenditure (capex) this year, the bulk of which was allocated to upgrade its geothermal assets under the Energy Development Corp. (EDC).

The EDC is a subsidiary of First Gen, reputed to be the country’s largest clean-energy company, with a portfolio that includes natural gas, geothermal, solar, wind, and hydro.

“Some of it will be for projects, and then some will be for things we’ll do in the power plants like cooling-tower upgrade. We’re just finalizing control-system integration for Tongonan, so it can sell ancillary. The investments will optimize the assets’ flexibility,” EDC President Richard Tantoco said.

First Gen is one of the biggest independent power producers in the country and the leading gas power-generation company in the Philippines with approximately 2,000 megawatts in operating gas assets composed of four gas-fired power plants—the 1,000-MW Santa Rita Power Plant, the 500-MW San Lorenzo Power Plant the 414-MW San Gabriel Power Plant—and the 97-MW Avion Power Plant, all of which currently operate on Malampaya gas supply.

“The FGEN Batangas LNG Terminal Project is intended to serve the natural gas requirements of existing and future gas-fired power plants of third parties and FGEN LNG affiliates,” it said.

First Gen’s onshore storage and regasification terminal will have a capacity to supply a minimum 5 million tons of natural gas equivalent to 5,000 MW and is expected to cost over $1 billion.