US firm Excelerate racing ahead to bring first FSRU LNG facility to PH

Published October 28, 2020, 12:51 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

American firm Excelerate Energy is racing ahead in bringing to commercial fruition the country’s first floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the second quarter of 2022.

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In an announcement to the media, the Texas-based firm said it is now “in the final phases of preparing to commence construction on the Filipinas Gateway project,” and this shall serve as the country’s first open access LNG import terminal.

Ramon Wangdi, president of Luzon LNG Terminal Inc. which is the Philippine subsidiary of Excelerate Energy, noted that after securing the notice-to-proceed (NTP) from the Department of Energy (DOE) last year, the company “worked diligently to develop Filipinas LNG so that the energy markets can be prepared for the next chapter of Malampaya.”

He highlighted that with the help of its local partner Topline Energy, they continually toiled on required preparation and development works at their project site in Batangas Bay, despite the lingering whip of the coronavirus pandemic.

The next step for the company, Wangdi said, is to submit an application for a permit to construct, expand, rehabilitate and modify (PCERM) with the Department of Energy.

On the FSRU component, it was noted that the facility is ready and will just be shipped to the Philippines once all required ancillary developments at the project site are completed, hence, the company is confident of the second quarter 2022 timeline as commercial operations date.

The LNG import terminal will have a capacity of 5.0 million tons per annum (mtpa); and it would be able to supply fuel for up to 4,000-megawatt capacity of generated electricity. Based on information from the DOE, the submitted project cost for this venture had been set at P6.387 billion.

The US firm added “Filipinas LNG will provide access to all power plants in the Luzon region, both new and existing, which use natural gas as fuel for generating electricity.”

The FSRU facility that the company intends to bring to the Philippines would be “specifically designed to perform in extreme weather conditions like those of the Philippines,” as this has already been proven in Excelerate Energy’s operations within the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic; Israel; as well as in Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.

Wangdi vouched that “Excelerate is the only company with the unique and unmatched industry experience that can deliver this complex project.”

As a gas import facility leaning on third party access (TPA) business model, the Filipinas LNG facility will be selling gas to multiple users in the region in an “open and transparent basis” and this will also provide gas purchasers with a lot of flexibility on their procurement or contracting preferences.

The Excelerate-Topline tandem is currently in discussions with an anchor market as well as other end-users as targeted gas off-takes (gas purchases) for the imported LNG.

“The Filipinas LNG will address the country’s need to supplement and eventually replace Malampaya by supplying a quick, reliable and sustainable gas solution,” the US firm said.