Metro Pacific keen on investing in LNG facility

By Alena Mae S. Flores – December 27, 2017 at 08:08 pm

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is looking at possible investments in the country’s liquefied natural gas industry, a group official said.

“It’s MPIC,” Meralco PowerGen president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson said when asked whether his company was eyeing LNG.

Singson said MPIC was looking at possible partners in the LNG business. He added the possible investments would not be at the Meralco PowerGen level largely due to the huge investments and technical expertise needed in an LNG terminal and power plant.

Meralco PowerGen is the power generation unit of Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor. MPIC owns about 45 percent of the electricity retailer.

The Department of Energy recently issued the rules for LNG development that would pave the way for MPIC and other investors to invest in the emerging LNG industry.

Singson said MPIC “will need” to take in partners for both the LNG terminal and the power plant component.

He said MPIC already initiated talks with possible partners from Japan but no firm agreements had been forged.

MPIC and Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said along with Osaka Gas of Japan, the group was interested in an integrated natural gas facility.

“You need a gasification plant because we need to import gas. There is no more gas from Malampaya for the size of the plant. So there will be a gasification facility and a power plant,” he said.

The regasification facility will convert the imported LNG to natural gas for delivery to the power plant.

Pangilinan said the natural gas plant “might be done in phases, but it is up to 1,500 MW.”

Osaka Gas is a key player in Japan’s LNG market. It imports about 7.9 million tons per year, representing 9 percent of Japan’s total LNG imports, mostly from the Middle East (Qatar and Oman), Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei), Australia and Russia.

The Japanese company has stakes in six LNG carriers. Osaka Gas also operates two world-class LNG receiving terminals, including those in Himeji and  Senboku.