Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said last week that several Japanese and Chinese companies had expressed interest in plans for a new LNG import terminal.
Speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review, Cusi said more than 20 companies from eight countries had offered to team up with Philippine National Oil Corp. (PNOC) for the project, which involves the construction of an LNG regasification terminal on the southern part of Luzon Island. Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and a number of state-run and private Chinese companies have come forward, he said, without identifying any other potential investors.
He also indicated that Manila was negotiating with Beijing and Tokyo because PNOC was most interested in working with a Chinese or Japanese partner. “We are talking to China [and] Japan,” he said. “We are looking at which can offer the best in terms of funding.”
No front-runner has emerged yet, he added. “It’s too early to say who is more advanced. There are so many things to look into,” he said.
Cusi did not say which countries or companies might supply LNG for the terminal. He did note, though, that the project would allow the Philippines to diversify its energy supplies.
At present, around 40-45% of the electricity consumed on Luzon, the most heavily populated and highly developed island in the country, comes from a thermal power plant (TPP) that burns gas produced from a domestic field, Malampaya. However, this site is maturing and will be depleted by 2024. As such, the LNG terminal will allow PNOC to import gas from other suppliers while it looks for new reserves and other areas, including sections of the South China Sea that are also claimed by Beijing.
The secretary did not say how much LNG the terminal would be able to handle. He did say, though, that the facility would also house a new gas-burning TPP. The plant will have an initial generating capacity of 200 MW but could be expanded to 800 MW at a later date, he said.