Firm looking for site of CNOOC-Phoenix $2-B LNG projectsNew

By Myrna M. Velasco

An affiliate company of Tanglawan Philippines LNG Inc. is the entity securing the site for the US$2.0 billion worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects being pursued by the joint venture of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. of businessman Dennis Uy.

As affirmed by company sources, the entity being used to negotiate for the site procurement is Liwanag Development Corp. which is also a joint venture of CNOOC and Uy’s Udenna Corporation.

That corporate vehicle, it was noted, will then sell or sub-lease the property to Tanglawan after completing its JV arrangement with Phoenix Petroleum.

At the time of its application with the Department of Energy (DOE), Tanglawan was still 100-percent owned by CNOOC but the Chinese firm already had agreement-in-principle on a partnership with Uy for the LNG projects.

Recently, the board of directors of Phoenix Petroleum had given approval on the creation of a new subsidiary that will serve as the main corporate vehicle for the planned integrated LNG terminal as well as anchor gas-fired power plant projects.

The company stipulated that its board of directors had already given management the authority “to form and organize a new wholly-owned subsidiary or company to manage the corporation’s LNG interest.”

For the venture, Phoenix Petroleum disclosed that it will be shelling out initial P250 million that shall cover cost “for the formation and organization of the new company.”

This investment, it qualified though, will be subject to the approval of its shareholders during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in March this year.

It reiterated that the investment blueprint shall be in keeping with the government’s target of positioning the Philippines as ‘gas market hub’ in the region.

In the same board meeting last week, Phoenix Petroleum had set go-signal for it or its subsidiary-firms “to enter into joint cooperation or venture with CNOOC Gas and Power Group for the operation and establishment of various LNG-related trades and services.”

The DOE previously apprised media that the joint venture of Phoenix Petroleum-CNOOC via Tanglawan Philippines LNG Inc. had committed to invest US$2.0 billion for the integrated LNG terminal and power plant projects.

Its targeted greenfield power plant project will be for 1,100 megawatts of capacity – and this will also be sited in Batangas; proximate to its proposed LNG import terminal.

The projects are set for completion in year 2023 – considered a critical period when the country’s commercial gas field Malampaya will also be running out of production.

The country’s foray into LNG investments will somehow place its gas market and industry into a reset phase because this will be a shift from what it traditionally leaned on as utilization of indigenous gas.