By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) is calendared to promulgate this week the final approval of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal project of Lopez-led First Gen Corporation.
The go-signal, to be concretized via the Centralized Review and Evaluation Committee (C-REC) of the department, is targeted within this week. Following that, it will be elevated to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi for his signing so that the project’s notice-to-proceed (NTP) can be subsequently issued.
In a briefing with reporters, Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella noted that the deliberations and review of First Gen’s application for NTP on its LNG project “is now due for completion,” and it is highly likely that it shall be given the green light.
He indicated though that the application of US firm Excelerate Energy may be thumbed down because it has insufficient document-submissions.
“It (First Gen application) has to be presented first to C-REC, and it is alive” and will have “desirable outcome,” he stressed.
The two applications, he said, will be presented both to C-REC for agenda this week – but of the two, it has been First Gen’s application that has positive recommendation.
“In the end, it will be up to C-REC to evaluate the proposals – they might see some other factors though that it (Excelerate application) could still be considered, so it (approval) has to be formalized,” the energy official stressed.
The Lopez firm previously cast U$1.0-billion investment for its planned 5.0 mtpa onshore LNG import terminal that will be sited proximate to its gas-fired power plants in Batangas.
The company also inked a joint development agreement last December with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. – with the latter cornering 20 percent equity in FGen LNG, the project’s corporate vehicle.
First Gen is strategically seen as the most qualified owning LNG import facility because it has the most number of power generation fleets running on gas fuel – chiefly the 1,000-megawatt Santa Rita; 500MW San Lorenzo; 414MW San Gabriel and 97MW Avion plants.