Chevron Philippines has expressed interest in the country’s planned liquefied natural gas project, a government executive confirmed Tuesday.
“We are talking,” said Reuben Lista, president of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., the company tasked to put up the proposed LNG hub in Batangas.
Senior executives from Chevron and its LNG partners, NYK Line and JERA Co. Inc., met with Lista and other PNOC officials to discuss the proposed LNG integrated project of the government.
Chevron owns a 45-percent stake in the Malampaya gas project in northwest Palawan under service contract 38. The natural gas field is expected to be depleted by 2024.
Meeting with PNOC executives were Chevron Philippines chairman Peter Morris, Chevron USA general manager for LNG Neil Theobald, JERA senior vice president Gaku Takagi, Chevron International general manager for business development Dipak Kothari, LNG Group of NYK Line manager Seichi Kitamura and JERA general manager Teriga Asai.
Chevron also has exposure in the downstream oil industry with nearly 700 retail stations around the Philippines. It recently sold its geothermal interests in the Philippines.
PNOC, through subsidiary PNOC Exploration Corp., owns a 10-percent stake, while Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. holds an equal 45 percent interest in the Malampaya project.
Lista cited continuing private sector interest in the government’s LNG project.
PNOC is finalizing an agreement with International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, to study the optimization of the banked gas and liquefied natural gas terminal project.
IFC will assist in planning the most appropriate business arrangement that is legally, technically and financially feasible for the planned floating, storage and re-gasification unit-power plant project.
“Concurrently, a detailed feasibility study will be conducted for the establishment of Phase 2: the LNG hub, to include studies on grid and systems impact in relation to the connection with the Batangas Bay sub-station,” PNOC documents stated.
The Energy Department and PNOC are pushing for the Philippines to become an LNG hub of Southeast Asia because of its strategic location.
PNOC said the proposed Batangas LNG hub could include onshore facilities such as 5-million-ton-per annum storage units and re-gasfication, power plant and distribution/redistribution units.
It said the second phase might be located at the 60-hectare property of National Development Corp. in San Pascual, Batangas. It is expected to provide for the requirements of the five existing natural gas power plants in Batangas during the Malampaya natural gas field maintenance shutdown.
“On a larger scale, the hub will address the gap in energy capacity once the Malampaya gas field is depleted and the service contract expires in 2024. It will assure the sustained supply of the gas requirements of the five Malampaya-dependent power plants,” it said.