First Gen set to build LNG hub

First Gen Corp. has shortlisted five potential contractors that will build the $1-billion liquefied natural gas receiving, storage and  re-gasification terminal in Batangas.

The move came after First Gen completed the feasibility study for the LNG terminal.

“We will start bidding out the EPC [engineering, procurement and construction contract] next year. …We’ve shortlisted the potential contractors. We’ve shortlisted five contractors,” First Gen president Francis Giles Puno told reporters.

Puno, however, said First Gen might announce the company’s joint venture partner for the project, prior to the award of the EPC contract.

“But the question is more on timing. Ideally, what you want is to have the partner or partners and we [will] bid it out next year. We will start construction next year…So what we’re doing is the design for the site prep and then what we’ll do is bid out the contract next year,” he said.

Puno said First Gen was now talking to “a number” of possible local and foreign joint venture partners.

“What we did is ensure that everybody was understanding that it’s a project we will push through.  What we’re talking about is about a billion dollars for the LNG terminal. So it’s hard for us to fund [the project] alone,” he said.

He earlier said the First Gen was looking at offering a 50-percent stake in the project to the joint venture partners.

Puno said the company was actively preparing for end of contract of Malamapaya natural gas consortium by 2022 to 2024.

“We have enough time to build the LNG regas in time for the expiration,” he said.

He said while there was enough LNG supply worldwide, First Gen’s partners would help decide on that. “With partners, they decide on the LNG, decide on the expansion and the fuel.” he said.

“Once we build the gas terminal, it’s designed to be able to send lorries, trucks to the industrial partners so we can load LNG in Batangas and send to said parties in Cavite, Batangas and then deliver gas to those markets,” he said.

First Gen owns two natural gas power plants, including the 1,000-megawatt Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo power plants in Batangas. The company is also embarking on several natural gas power plant  expansions.

First Gen earlier tapped Tractebel Engineering of France for the detailed design of the LNG terminal.

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