DOE eyeing P65 billion in LNG projects investments

Published August 26, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Department of Energy (DOE) is eyeing aggregate investments of P64.632 billion on the four liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal projects that it approved for installations in specified areas in Luzon.

As presented to industry stakeholders this week, the energy department noted that bulk of capital flow will be from the P37.553 billion onshore LNG import terminal facility proposed by Batangas Clean Energy Inc. of the Lucio Tan group with its foreign partner Gen X Energy, an affiliate of global equity firm Blackstone Group.

The other ventures are leaning on floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) – which include the P13.284 billion project of FGEN LNG Corporation which is the joint venture of First Gen Corporation and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd; the P6.387 billion FSRU facility applied for by US firm Excelerate Energy L.P.; and the P7.408 billion LNG import facility of Energy World Gas Operations Philippines Inc.

Of the four proposed facilities, it is the First Gen FSRU project in Batangas City that is already advancing to construction phase and this is due for completion in 2022. The capacity of this import facility had been cast at 5.26 mtpa.

The Lopez firm’s development blueprint is to start with a smaller scale FSRU in 2022; and it will push for an onshore terminal with higher capacity after year 2024.

As could be gleaned from DOE documents, the Excelerate FSRU project in Batangas will also be on commercial stream by year 2022 and it will have 1.5 mtpa capacity.

Energy World’s gas import facility will be for 3.0 mtpa with commercial operations in 2022 and to be

sited in Pagbilao Grande Island in Quezon province; while the Batangas onshore import terminal spearheaded by the Tan group will have similar capacity of 3.0 mtpa.

“The LNG import facility development and construction requires huge capital investments from the private sector. From these projects, potential investment amounts to P64.632 billion,” the DOE stated.
It further qualified “more investments are expected for other necessary natural gas infrastructure like satellite terminals, transmission and distribution pipelines and refueling stations when demand for natural gas ramps up in the near future.”

As targeted in the forward power project developments in the country, the expected capacity addition from gas technology will be more than 4,000 megawatts – and among the projects already set out by prospective developers are the Santa Maria and Saint Joseph gas-fired power projects of First Gen that may yield 1,200MW capacity; and the Ilijan gas plant expansion propounded by San Miguel group for another 600 to 1,200MW capacity.

On job creation for the LNG projects, the magnitude would be: 945 during construction and 80 during operation for the First Gen project; 100 workers at construction and 60 at operation for the Excelerate FSRU; 500 during construction phase and 70 during operation for the Energy World venture; and 3,000 jobs at construction and 115 at operation stage for the Batangas Clean Energy project.

“More jobs are required during the construction phase of the projects – a total of around 4,500 workers for the proposed facilities,” the energy department has emphasized.

It added that when the facilities would reach commercial operations, a total of 325 technical personnel will be required to man the LNG facilities.