Ten foreign and local companies have expressed interest to participate in the country’s $2-billion integrated liquefied natural gas project, a government official said over the weekend.
“A total of 10 [firms] already have had pre-application conferences with the DoE [Department of Energy],” Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III said.
The number increased to 10 interested parties from seven firms in March.
“We have received LoIs but they have not actually submitted their plans. Here in DoE, six or seven expressed interest,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said earlier.
The department previously identified the four parties as Cleanway-Filipino and Resiro, a UK company; Tokyo Gas; local firm First Gen Corp.; and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
The other interested parties are state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., Vires Energy Corp. and Carmine Energy Ltd. Pte. with partner Golar Energy.
The agency has yet to identify the three new interested firms in the list.
“Based on PDNGR [Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Rules], anyone who has the qualification can participate but there will only be one to put up the terminal. PNOC would like to become the operator. But PNOC would need a partner to do it. PNOC is looking for the partner… Once they found a partner, they will submit to the DoE their proposal. DoE will evaluate the project,” Cusi said.
Cusi said the department would have the final say on who should construct the LNG facility and state-run PNOC was just one of those that wanted to operate the facility.
“PNOC as a corporation is aspiring to operate… PNOC will compete with the others,” he said.
Cusi said PNOC would have an advantage because it has the franchise to operate the pipelines and the department “might elect” to give PNOC a stake in the LNG terminal project.
The government hopes to break ground for the country’s first integrated LNG facility by mid-2018 and put in place the LNG terminal by 2020 to safeguard against the anticipated depletion of the Malampaya natural gas reserves by 2024.