Excelerate partners with Cebu's Topline for $50-M LNG hub project

Excelerate Energy, a major US-based energy company, is partnering with Cebu-based Topline Energy for the establishment of an LNG hub, including tank manufacturing, with an investment of $50 million at the Mactan Economic Zone.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority
PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Deputy Director General Tereso Panga said that Excelerate is just one of the foreign investment leads generated during the recent PEZA mission. PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza led a PEZA delegation for a series of Global Biz seminars and targeted meetings with Emirati investors and other multinational companies based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Panga expects Excelerate and Topline to file their application for registration with PEZA this year or within an 18-month project timetable period.

Aside from the US, Panga said that Execelerate operates big LNG terminals in the UAE, Argentina, Kuwait, South Korea, UK, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel and Bangladesh. It has also more than 9 LNG carrier vessels. Topline also operates an LNG hub inside MEZ, he said.

Other PEZA investment leads include a jewelry (ruby) processing facility from a Dubai-based member company of the Pakistani Business Professional Council; DMCC for its proposed halal certification services; Prime Group for additional Halal laboratory in Calamba or Cavite ecozone; and serious interests from OSIDigital Africa, an IT and financial services company; and LARED, an existing IT locator in Baguio which plans to expand in other ecozones.

PEZA also pursued a follow-up meeting with committed Emirati investors from earlier investment missions such as DP World, Dubai Islamic Bank, Prime Group and Lulu Hypermarket, Lootah Energy, Royal Ruby Corporation (diversified business), and Velius Group (armaments).

During the mission, PEZA participated in the 11th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) at the Dubai Expo Exhibition Hall where the Philippines had an investment promotion booth with Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. as co-sponsor. Other participants in this exhibit were the TIEZA, CEZA, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industries, and ecozone locators Toyoto Tsusho, Omon and Top Line Energy.

AIM 2022 Dubai is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy designed to provide a framework for global exchange on the key principles underpinning international investment policies, strategies and practices for sustainable development to achieve smart and inclusive global growth.

This year, AM 2022 Dubai has attracted participants from 170 countries with its theme "Investments in Sustainable Innovation for a Thriving Future" and goal to enhance the attraction of foreign investments in the vital and promising sectors in light of the new global trends. The Philippines, thru PEZA, was the only invited participant from ASEAN by the UAE Ministry of Commerce.

Plaza served as a panelist at the AIM forum on "Measuring the Impact and Improving the Performance of Special Economic Zones," where the PEZA (for the Philippines) was featured together with the private operators of leading ecozones in Africa.

Plaza highlighted the success story of the Philippine ecozone program and PEZA's continuing reforms to make the ecozones more attractive to investors and responsive to the development needs of the country.

PEZA and Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. presented before more than 60 investors and various foreign business delegations at the main session room of the AIM exhibition hall.

In addition, the PEZA Global Biz with Abu Dhabi was attended by 70 business delegations both Emirati locals and foreigners. Notable participants include Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company or ADNOC, Pakistan Business Chamber, Abu Dhabi IT business sector such as Foresight Cyber, AD Parts Group, and other Filipino companies based in Abu Dhabi such as the Philippine Business Council Abu Dhabi which co-organized the said investment forum, the Filipino Channel, the Filipino Times and New Media Perspectives who served as our media partner.

During the forum, PEZA also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Business Chamber in Abu Dhabi represented by its current Chairman, Prof. Gau Raganit, for joint investment promotion partnership, and Prime Group UAE, represented by its group CEO, Dr. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, for halal certification services and the setting up of geoscience labs in the Philippine ecozones.

Plaza was also a panelist at the Abrahamic Business Circle (ABC) Investment Summit for the session on "Impact of FDI on Economic Boom."

The ABC is an exclusive Private Members Network composed of high-profile businessmen mostly from the UAE and Israel, the prime movers of the Abraham Accord which is a historic agreement between the UAE and Israel. It is focused on promoting global economic diplomacy through investments. In support of the developing economies' bid to atrract FDI from the ME, the ABC event this year featured Afghanistan, Moldova and the Philippines.

PEZA also participated in the Global Business Forum for Latin America Dubai Expo for FDI networking and market intelligence gathering as the event continued to explore new synergies and expand the scope of economic cooperation between businesses across the UAE, Latin American and Caribbean regions.

Plaza also held side meetings with the World Free Zones, DMCC Free Zone Authority, UNCTAD, Lulu Hypermarket and Excelerate Energy for the PEZA conduct of Global Biz with Asia-Pacific investors in July 2022 and where the heads of these leading organizations committed to visit the Philippines and serve as speakers for the said event.

PEZA also conducted government to business/business to business meetings at the AIM Exhibition area with the Saudi Fund for Development, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, energy company AMAEA Power and General Investment– Moscow, which have signified interest in partnering with the PEZA in its conduct of the Global Biz Asia Pacific.