Meralco open to tie-up for LNG plant

by Danessa O. Rivera – December 26, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is open to new partnerships for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility amid the projected increase in capacity of gas-fired power plants in the country, its top official said.

Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes said LNG is still part of the company’s plans because it would continue to play a role in the whole energy mix of the country.

“You cannot have all coal. That’s why we continue to look at the potential for gas whether indigenous or LNG. We’re prepared to work with others, existing or new,” he said.

LNG is natural gas that has been converted into liquid for ease of storage or transport.

In February, Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the power distributor is in talks with Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., Japan’s second largest natural gas supplier, for a possible development of an LNG facility.

Osaka Gas is doing a feasibility study on a planned $2-billion, 1,500 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant project with Meralco which is targeted for completion by year-end.

In October, Osaka Gas chairman representative for Southeast Asia Yoshihiko Kimata said talks between the two firms are still progressing as the Japanese firm sees the potential of LNG in the country.

“Osaka has expressed interest, but it’s a question of scale and timing. They are doing their own study, and we continue to be in dialogue,” Reyes noted.

Currently, the country has 2,750 MW in generating capacity from gas-fired power plants, from the Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo gas plants of the Lopez Group and Ilijan plant under San Miguel Group.

The next wave generating capacities will come from the Lopez Group’s 100-MW Avion plant and the 414-MW San Gabriel plant, both in Batangas. The group is looking at two other 414 MW plants.

Australian firm Energy World Corp. (EWC) is also developing two 200 MW units of natural gas-fired power plant in Quezon province.

“So you’ll have new gas-fired plants potentially 1,350 MW. 4,200 MW is about the right size that will warrant 2 million metric ton per year LNG terminal,” Reyes said.