Phoenix joins race to build LNG hub
Plans of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub include a facility that could hold 2.2 million tons per year, plus a possible power plant complex with about 2,000 megawatts of generating capacity.
Phoenix’s proposal was said to have been submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) in late October or early November and is undergoing technical evaluation.
Phoenix chief operating officer Henry Albert Fadullon said in an interview the company was still awaiting a response from the DOE, which hopefully will grant a notice to proceed (NTP).
“Our proposal includes a regasification facility with an option for a power plant [that would consume the terminal’s inventory],” Fadullon said.
“This would be 6 x 360 megawatts,” he added, meaning that the generator complex would have six units at 360 MW each, or a total of 2,160 MW.
Even then, he said there was existing demand for natural gas, referring to at least four gas-fed power plants that are currently dependent on the Malampaya natural gas project.
But these power plants all belong to the First Gen group, whose subsidiary FGEN LNG Corp. and in partnership with Tokyo Gas Corp. has also asked the DOE for the green light to proceed with its own LNG terminal project.
“They (First Gen) may have applied for an NTP, but did they submit a proposal?” Fadullon said, expressing confidence that Phoenix will be “the one” entity that would be allowed to build an LNG facility.
Considering that there is currently a limited, ready market for LNG, regulators and some industry players argue that once one entity has started with such a project, it will not make business sense for another to build a similar facility.
Phoenix is pursuing its LNG ambitions through Tanglawan Philippines Energy LNG Inc., a partnership with Cnooc Ltd. in which Fadullon said the Beijing-based company had a 60-percent interest.
Fadullon said a separate entity called “Liwanag” was set up to own and manage the property that would host the planned LNG terminal—with a reversed equity structure, Phoenix holding 60 percent and Cnooc 40 percent. —RONNEL W. DOMINGO
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