Vires Energy gets approval for LNG-to-power project in Philippines

(Article updated to say that Vires Energy will not use BW Paris FSRU for the project)

Vires Energy has secured approval to develop its LNG-to-power project in the Philippines, located in Batangas on the main island of Luzon.

The Philippines’ Department of Energy said in a statement it issued a notice to proceed to the project on April 22.

The NTP is valid for six months and now Vires Energy must submit to the DOE all relevant permits from various government agencies, endorsements from the local government units but also proof of financial closing, it said.

“The proposed integrated natural gas-fired power plant and LNG storage and regasification terminal project of Vires Energy will boost the attainment of our vision to develop the Philippines as a LNG hub in the Southeast Asian region,” energy secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in the statement.

Looking for FSRUs

The DOE previously said Vires Energy planned to use the converted 162,000-cbm FSRU BW Paris which First Gen has recently chartered from BW Gas for its Batangas LNG import terminal in the Philippines.

The FSRU has a nominal send-out capacity of 500 MMscfd but also a peak capacity of 750 MMscfd.

However, Vires Energy’s parent firm A Brown said in a statement on April 29 that the firm would not use BW Paris FSRU for the development.

The firm said that Vires Energy was still in contact with BW Gas at the time it was initially applying for the NTP in June 2020 but these talks did not materialize. The firm is currently considering options and arrangements for other vessels.

In addition to the FSRU, Vires Energy’s project includes a 1.6km subsea gas pipeline from the unit to a 500-MW floating power plant which would serve as an “anchor market,” it said.

This would mark the largest floating power plant project recorded in the country, according to the DOE.

Moreover, the project would also utilize a land area classified as a “heavy industrial zone” for backup fuel supply of diesel fuel during gas outage events, the statement said.

Vires Energy plans commercial operations for the LNG-to-power project to start in January 2023.

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