By Myrna M. Velasco
HOUSTON, Texas – Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., the newly minted partner of Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation on its blueprinted liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal project, is dangling its expertise on gas technology as well as experience on LNG supply contracting as its value-added pitch in their joint venture.
In an interview here, Tokyo Gas Board Member and Senior Executive Officer Kunio Nohata noted that the company can both extend leverage on technology and LNG supply procurement for the Philippine LNG project.
He indicated that Tokyo Gas is “happy” and considers it a “positive development” that the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) has finally issued the notice-to-proceed (NTP) to the LNG import terminal venture with First Gen.
Nohata added that while cheap power has always been a question thrown when it comes to discussion of energy mix of any country or economy, he opined that gas is a key solution to any energy system’s bid for flexibility and energy security.
And on its expanding partnerships with Southeast Asian countries – the Philippines included, he told a panel discussion in jest at the CERAWeek that the parallelism is often anchored on realities that “we cannot find the best husband or the best wife, but we can find a good partner.”
In the array of technology for gas markets, Nohata asserted that Tokyo Gas can bring to the table top-tier experience in the installation of LNG terminals and pipelines or even power plant developments, “but that will depend on the partner’s request.”
In the joint development agreement (JDA) it inked with First Gen, Tokyo Gas cornered 20-percent in the JV company that will pursue the LNG import facility project.
For this particular undertaking, the Lopez firm lines up FGEN LNG Corporation as the corporate vehicle, and it was the same entity that was granted the NTP for the gas import terminal project.
First Gen previously penciled in US1.0 billion investment for a scale of 5.0 mtpa LNG import facility, but has not given new pronouncement on final project blueprint – especially with due consideration that it will be facing contest with another player when it comes to catering to other gas market opportunities in the country.
The Lopez firm has strategic market for gas fuel with more than 2,000 megawatts of gas generation capacity under its portfolio – all proximate to its propounded LNG terminal site in Batangas.