MANILA - Tokyo Gas Co. and a major power producer of the Philippine conglomerate Lopez Group have obtained governmental approval for the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Batangas province.
Tokyo Gas plans to hold a 20 percent stake in the project, aiming to commence operations in 2023 with First Gen Corp., Tokyo Gas spokesman Noriyoshi Ibara said.
Japan’s largest gas utility and First Gen submitted the LNG terminal plan to the Department of Energy last December. Although the consortium gained the permit, “we have yet to make a final investment decision,” the spokesman said without elaborating.
The new terminal will have an annual capacity of 5.26 million tons, according to Rino Abad, director of the department’s oil industry management bureau. Local media said investment costs are estimated at $10 billion (¥1.1 trillion).
The Philippine government has so far approved two other LNG hubs development projects, but the Tokyo Gas-First Gen venture is the largest in capacity size.
First Gen operates four gas-fired power plants in the province, south of Manila, by sourcing natural gas from the Malampaya gas field off the coast of Palawan Island.
First Gen, which is also the Philippines’ largest natural gas buyer, has decided to build the gas import terminal as local supplies are feared to become depleted as early as 2024.
First Gen aims to firm up contractors, costs and other arrangements “within the year” to proceed with the plan by next year, President Francis Giles Puno was quoted by BusinessMirror as saying.