First Gen readies floating LNG facility
MANILA -A subsidiary of power firm First Gen Corp. is set to start commissioning a floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU) next month after receiving its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo delivery in Batangas province, a top official said on Monday.
First Gen chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno told reporters that FGen LNG Corp. would run the FSRU for two to four weeks before starting full operations by yearend.
An FSRU is a floating vessel that can transport, store and re-gasify LNG.
“November would be actual production and normalization of operations. Before the end of the year it will be operational and we have to figure out how we can regularly supply LNG,” Puno said.
First Gen’s four gas-fired power plants — the 1,000-megawatt (MW) Santa Rita, the 500-MW San Lorenzo, the 97-MW Avion and the 420-MW San Gabriel plants — in Batangas currently rely on gas coming from the depleting Malampaya gas field in offshore northwest Palawan province.
With the FSRU and the company’s LNG terminal, Puno said First Gen was hoping that there would be more gas supply for the country to lower electricity costs.
According to Puno, the plants had lower platform gas capacity so these needed to run on backup liquid fuel to ensure continuous operations.
“We want to be able to run the plants fully on LNG and then on [gas coming from] Malampaya. In the long run, Malampaya will still be there because the consortium is investing in new wells,” he said.
Puno was referring to the Malampaya consortium composed of ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.’s Prime Energy Resources BV, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp.
The consortium previously announced that it would invest $690 million in the next three years to further explore the remaining gas deposits in nearby fields by drilling additional wells.
“That would extend the life of wells and the supply of Malampaya. Hopefully with that mix, total electricity cost would be more affordable,” Puno said.
First Gen received its first delivery of 154,500 cubic meters of imported LNG in August through its LNG terminal in Batangas.