Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa has joined the list of foreign and local companies that are interested in teaming up with state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. for the liquefied natural gas integrated facility in Batangas.
Executives of Gas Natural Fenosa visited PNOC president Reuben Lista recently “to discuss matters of mutual interest in the field of natural gas.”
Gas Natural Fenosa is a major Spanish natural gas utilities company.
PNOC has so far received interest from 26 companies for a possible partnership in the LNG project.
Other foreign companies that expressed interest in the project were Osaka Gas, Samsung and China Petroleum Corp. or Sinopec.
Lista said these companies were interested in the project “because they know that LNG is the fuel of the future and their best bet is to partner with PNOC like is practiced in other countries.”
Osaka Gas is a leading energy supplier in Japan while Sinopec is a state-owned major petroleum and petrochemical enterprise.
PNOC will shortlist the proposals of the interested parties by May.
Lista said PNOC gave interested parties until end of April to submit their final unsolicited proposals to develop an LNG project in Batangas which should be operational by 2019 or 2020.
“[It should be] operational by 2019, that is our optimistic dream. Our pessimistic dream is by 2020,” Lista said.
Lista said PNOC would study the proposals thoroughly, especially the financial aspect because the government wanted a “free carry” in the LNG project, which would include a floating and storage facility, liquefaction, regassification and a 200-megawatt power plant.
He said PNOC would choose “what will give the best benefit to the country and to our people.”
“Of course, the investors should be able to recover their cost,” Lista said.
The interested parties also include investors from Singapore, Korea, Japan, China,Turkey, UAE, Spain, Australia and local companies.
Lista said PNOC would look at the best proposal in terms of its overall benefit and the continuity of the project, which could be scaled up to 800 MW.
“We will come out with a short list, may be four to six or seven [investors]. We assume they will form consortiums,” Lista said.
Lista said the Energy Department was presently moving forward with an LNG policy―a crucial component that investors were keenly waiting for.
He said PNOC was also studying if an inter-agency group could endorse the winning unsolicited proposal, instead of the National Economic Development Authority.
The government wants to develop an LNG facility in preparation for the eventual depletion of the Malampaya gas facility by 2024.