State-owned Philippine National Oil Co. said Thursday it signed a memorandum of understanding with New Fortress Energy LLC to advance the development of liquefied natural gas infrastructure to supply reliable, cost-competitive power and natural gas in the Philippines.
Under the MOU, PNOC and NFE will work together to identify potential opportunities to accelerate the development of important LNG and power infrastructure in the country.
The future investments will build a new and durable LNG value chain in the Philippines capable of generating jobs, revenue and opportunity beyond the prospective terminal or power plant sites.
NFE is a NASDAQ-listed, US-based global energy infrastructure company founded in 2014, specializes in the construction and operation of LNG import terminals and other related facilities on natural gas utilization.
It has five operational facilities across the Caribbean and United States, with numerous additional projects under development around the world.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is also the ex-officio chairman of PNOC board, welcomed the signing of the MOU, saying the venture would benefit the country and the Filipino people.
“We welcome this recent development in light of our intensified efforts to ensure the country’s energy security with the expected depletion of Malampaya, and as part of our initial steps towards attaining our vision of establishing the Philippines as a regional LNG hub in Southeast Asia. We hope that this partnership would bear fruit that would redound to the advantage of our people,” Cusi said.
The MOU was signed on Oct. 14 in a virtual ceremony that featured PNOC president and chief executive Reuben Lista and New Fortress chairman and chief executive Wes Edens.
“The memorandum… will enable cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy for the people of the Philippines. Increasing access to power across the islands at a rapid pace will create significant growth opportunities. We look forward to working closely with our partners at PNOC and the government to bring more reliable power and help accelerate the clean energy transition,” said Edens, a co-owner of NBA team Milwaukee Bucks.
Cusi joined the virtual gathering to witness the signing ceremony and show DOE’s support to the joint undertaking.
PNOC is in the process of competitive selection for a partner for the LNG terminal project when it was shelved in December 2018 in light of increased private sector interest to undertake, on its own, the entire project.
The move intended to demonstrate the government’s policy to encourage private capital investment without prejudice to PNOC’s assumed role as the catalyst to develop and establish a growing value chain for the LNG in the country.
“We are confident that, with this cooperation with New Fortress Energy, PNOC will find meaningful ways to contribute to achieving energy security and stability in the country,” Lista said.
He said NFE could help bridge the gaps in the value chain for a robust LNG industry “and enable us take that giant leap towards the realization of the Philippines’ potential as a strategic LNG hub for the Asia-Pacific region.”