Lopezes’ FPH sets P50-B capex to fund LNG hub, property goals
Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) has earmarked P50 billion for capital outlays this year, mostly for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Batangas province and various property development projects.
During the company’s stockholders’ meeting on Friday, FPH president Francis Giles Puno said the offshore terminal was on track for completion by the third quarter of 2022.
First Gen is modifying its existing jetty facilities in Batangas to enable LNG to be shipped to the country from anywhere in the world and re-gasify the LNG molecules via a floating storage and re-gasification unit.
“Our own transition to a decarbonized future will be anchored in the next few years by our efforts to bring in LNG through First Gen before the end of Malampaya [geothermal field]. Bear in mind, though, that while we are embarking on this timely shift to LNG, we are, at the same time, also planning for its eventual phaseout in ways that complement a pathway to carbon neutrality by 2050 and consistent with a 1.5 degrees Celsius target,” FPH chair Federico Lopez said.
After obtaining approval from the Department of Energy (DOE) to construct the terminal, First Gen has awarded the LNG turnkey construction contract to McConnell Dowell of Australia. The group also awarded BW Gas Ltd. of Norway a 10-year charter contract to provide the floating storage and re-gas shipping vessel to be permanently moored to the jetty sometime in the fourth quarter of next year.
LNG would pave the way for decarbonizing the entire energy system, allowing the country to move away from coal dependence toward cleaner and renewable resources, Puno stressed.
FPH’s budget for this year is over three times larger than the actual capital expenditure of P15 billion in 2020 when the coronavirus disease first reached the country.
Emmanuel Singson, FPH chief financial officer, said of the total budget for this year, about P26 billion would be for First Gen, while the property sector would get at least P14 billion.
About P1 billion would be for economic zone operator First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP), while the balance would go to other businesses, including construction and new ventures in health care and education. Barring unforeseen events and given FPH’s present investment requirements and cash position, Singson said FPH could maintain a P2 per share dividend payout for shareholders this year despite the challenging conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rockwell Land, for its part, has completed three projects, namely, the Lorraine Tower at The Proscenium, Edades Suites in Rockwell Makati and Stonewell Acacia in Batangas.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.