First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group and state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. are in talks for the development of a liquified natural gas terminal in Batangas.
Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said the government was open to PNOC taking a stake in the $1-billion terminal being planned by First Gen if it would hasten the development of the project, which could be the country’s first LNG terminal.
“They are in talks with PNOC... If we can speed up the implementation of the project or if they [PNOC] can help, we are open to that,” Monsada said.
Monsada, however, said the government preferred full private sector development of the Batangas-Manila natural gas pipelines.
First Gen is preparing for the eventual contract expiry and exhaustion of the Malampaya gas field sometime between 2022 and 2024.
First Gen’s 1,500-megawatt Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo natural gas plants are using gas from the Malampaya gas field in northwest Palawan.
Its newly completed 97-MW Avion and 414-MW San Gabriel power plants are running on natural gas.
“And in order to secure the future of our natural gas platform, we pursued and heightened our planned development of an LNG regasification terminal located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City,” First Gen president Francis Giles Puno said earlier.
First Gen is finalizing the third revision of the terminal’s front-end engineering design work to be used for the construction tendering phase and discussing with potential LNG suppliers.
“Our prevailing strategic commitment is to serve the growing needs of the Filipino consumer with clean, affordable electricity and address it by focusing our efforts to grow our clean and renewable energy portfolio and to expand our natural gas platform beyond power generation by developing a world-class LNG regasification terminal to prepare the country for a post Malampaya domestic gas world,” he said.