By Myrna M. Velasco
Texas-headquartered Excelerate Energy L.P. is the latest addition to the race for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal venture that the Philippine government has been pursuing to meet its energy sector’s future gas needs.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said the American firm is the third company that submitted its LNG investment proposal to the Department of Energy (DOE) – the two others being Tanglawan Philippines LNG, Inc. of Davao businessman Dennis Uy and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC); and the joint venture of First Gen Corporation and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.
The energy official indicated that Tanglawan is still leading the race and is now close to securing the DOE approval on its proposed LNG projects.
“Tanglawan LNG is already at the last stage of approval before it could be given its notice-to-proceed for it to build its LNG facilities,” Fuentebella stressed.
The CNOOC-Uy partnership intends to fork out up to US$2.0 billion worth of investments for integrated LNG import terminal and gas-fired power facilities.
For both First Gen and Excelerate, the energy official said their applications have yet to be processed by the Centralized Review and Evaluation Committee (C-REC) of the energy department.
Excelerate Energy in particular has gained track record in deploying floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) technologies; and also offers solutions on shipping and marketing of LNG supply.
Fuentebella said the department is advancing these LNG investments “because we want to prepare ourselves for the eventual depletion of the Malampaya gas field.”
The timeline on gas production decline at the Malampaya was initially anticipated by year 2022; although operator Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. is hinting that the field’s output will still be good until 2026-2029.
The energy department cornered at least 23 interested parties on its dangled LNG projects – but only three groups formally submitted tenders.
Others on its roll had been: Cleanway Energy Development Corporation; VIRES Energy Corporation; South Korean firm SK E&S Co. Ltd.; Singaporean company Carmine Energy Pte. Ltd., American firm Transformation LLC; Limay LNG Power Corporation; Korea Electric Power Company; Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company (AG&P); Osaka Gas Co. Ltd.; the joint venture of American firm Chevron with Japanese company JERA NYK; United Arab Emirates firm Lloyds Energy; PhiLNG Pte. Ltd.; and BNK Financial Group of South Korea.