First Gen gets approval for Batangas LNG facilities

First Gen, controlled by the Lopez family, has received approval from the Philippines’ Department of Energy to modify and build facilities at its existing Batangas energy complex as it prepares to install a FSRU.

The approval covers the modification of the existing jetty for multi-use and adding gas receiving facilities at the complex.

These represent the initial phase of the planned FGEN Batangas LNG terminal that was previously declared as a project of national significance.

“We are thankful to Secretary Cusi, and to the Downstream Natural Gas Review and Evaluation Committee of the DOE, for the support and guidance that they have provided during
the evaluation process, especially given the difficult circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and for issuing the PCERM”, said Jonathan Russell, Executive VP
and CCO of First Gen.

Following the completion of preparatory works, First Gen aims to start building the LNG terminal by the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth, it said.

Three FSRU players in the race

In parallel, First Gen is preparing to issue a binding invitation to tender for an FSRU upon completion of its ongoing non-binding process.

Three providers, BW Gas, GasLog LNG Services, and Hoegh LNG Asia have expressed interest in providing the FSRU to the project, according to the firm.

The project will allow First Gen to accelerate its ability to introduce LNG to the Philippines as early as the third quarter of 2022, to serve the natural gas requirements of existing and future gas-fired power plants of third parties and its affiliates.

First Gen believes the LNG development will play a “critical role” in ensuring the energy security of the Luzon Grid and the Philippines, particularly as the indigenous Malampaya gas resource is
expected to be less reliable in producing and providing sufficient fuel supply for the country’s existing gas-fired power plants, and even less so for additional gas-fired power plants.

The entry of LNG 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, the firm said.

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