First Gen to start construction of interim LNG terminal this 4th quarter

Published November 13, 2020, 12:33 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation will start construction works at its interim liquefied natural gas import terminal (IOT) this fourth quarter, following its execution of agreement with Australian firm McConnell Dowell (MCD) as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

The company, in a statement to the media, has noted that “the construction phase for the IOT project may begin within 4th quarter 2020.” The project’s corporate vehicle is FGEN LNG Corporation, a subsidiary of First Gen.

Preparatory works prior to construction, it added, shall include “the design and implementation of enhanced work and safety protocols required to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on construction personnel and the local community.”

On Friday (November 13), the Lopez firm announced that it executed the EPC contract with McConnell Dowell Philippines, and that will be the signal for the project’s advancement to construction phase.

The scope of work to be rendered by the Australian firm shall cover:  first: modification of the existing jetty so it can be transformed into a multi-purpose jetty; and the second component is: to build an adjunct onshore gas receiving facility.

First Gen qualified that the IOT, which will have floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) as its main feature, will just comprise the initial phase of the FGEN LNG import terminal; and the more permanent facility will be an onshore terminal.

The target of the company is to bring imported LNG into the country by third quarter of 2022, and that is aligned as a replacement fuel to volume that can no longer be extracted from the Malampaya field.

On the engagement of McConnell Dowell as EPC contractor, First Gen Executive Vice President Jonathan Russell, emphasized that MCD “has considerable experience in a marine design and construction, including similar LNG projects.”

He narrated the facility at First Gen that has to be transformed into a multi-purpose jetty was also constructed by McConnell Dowell back in 1998.

Following the award of the EPC contract, it was noted that the Australian firm will be tapping First Balfour Inc., which is also a company under the Lopez group, to be the project’s subcontractor, primarily on the mechanical and instrumentation installation works.

Russell asserted First Gen is confident that “MCD and its major subcontractors are the right choice to execute the IOT project, and the execution of the EPC contract represents another milestone towards our objective of enabling the introduction of LNG to the Philippines.”

The Lopez firm reiterated its IOT project “will play a critical role in ensuring the energy security of the Luzon grid,” which is the country’s dominant power grid.

First Gen added the LNG import terminal venture “will encourage new power plant developments as well as industrial and transport industries, to consider it as a replacement to more costly and polluting fuels.”