Mitsui to join $1.2-B LNG hub
Businessman Gregorio Araneta III is pursuing a plan to build a $1.2-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Limay, Bataan, that will also eventually include a 600-megawatt power plant.
Araneta told reporters on the sidelines of Philweb’s stockholders meeting yesterday that Japanese conglomerate Mitsui would be his group’s partner in building the LNG project.
Outside of the proposed train and subway systems, Araneta said this could bring in the biggest investment by a Japanese firm in a single year.
Araneta said the project had been initially conceptualized by long-running construction and engineering firm Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. of Manila (AG&P).
“Then AG&P had a reshuffling so they sold me the project but I’m keeping them because they know the engineering [part],” Araneta said.
Energy City is envisioned to be an integrated LNG import terminal, LNG storage facility, regasification plant, power generation facility with co-located industrial operations and a countrywide natural gas distribution network.
This is being proposed to be built on a nearly 500-hectare property owned by the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) near the existing refinery of Petron Corp. in Limay, Bataan. It was earlier reported that PNOC, which was supposed to come in as a joint venture partner, had rejected the proposal.
Araneta, however, was still hopeful that PNOC would reconsider its position.
“We think that the smallest investment to start has got to be 600 megawatts. We think that’s what makes it viable, then we can keep on adding (capacity). That’s why it’s important to build the terminal,” Araneta said.
Araneta said he was not worried over the stability of LNG supply to run such a big project.
“That’s why Mitsui is a terrific partner because it’s a big trader of gas. They are sourcing everywhere,” he said.
Araneta said he would bring in personal equity to the project but added there would be plenty of financing from institutions such as International Finance Corp. and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
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