March 18, 2018 at 08:35 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
Seven local and foreign companies have expressed interest in the planned $2-billion integrated liquefied natural gas facility, the Department of Energy said over the weekend.
“We have received LOIs (letters of intent) but they have not actually submitted their plans. Here in DoE, six or seven expressed interest,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
Four companies have initially expressed interest in building the country’s first LNG complex.
The department previously identified the four parties as Cleanway-Filipino and Resiro, a UK company, Tokyo Gas of Japan, First Gen Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
The three new investors are state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., Vires Energy Corp. and Carmine Energy Ltd. Pte. with partner Golar Energy.
“PNOC is aspiring to become a natural gas terminal operator. PNOC is looking for a partner... They are now processing already on who will be their partner,” Cusi said.
A source said US oil giant Chevron also expressed interest but had not formally submitted a letter to the department yet. Cusi said the seven companies so far had not submitted formal applications to the department.
“Based on PDNGR (Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Rules), anyone who has the qualification can participate but there will only be one to put up the terminal. PNOC would like to become the operator. But PNOC would need a partner to do it. PNOC is looking for the partner... once they found a partner, they will submit to the DoE their proposal. DoE will evaluate the project,” Cusi said.
Cusi reiterated that the department would have the final say on who will construct the LNG facility and that PNOC was just one of those who wanted to operate it.
“PNOC as a corporation is aspiring to operate... PNOC will compete with the others,” he said.
He added PNOC had an advantage because of its franchise to operate the pipelines and the that department “might elect” to give PNOC a stake in the LNG terminal project.