First Gen to bring in LNG before 2024

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    First Gen Corp. reiterated its intention to bring in liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel in the country earlier than 2024 in order to take advantage of low prices in the world market.

    “…The price of LNG today is quite attractive and even cheaper than Malampaya. If we can bring in gas lower than Malampaya, it is really good for consumers. That’s what we are investigating today, if that is something that we can do for the consumers, to bring in LNG earlier and show to the market that gas is really competitive to other fuels including coal,” said Francis Giles Puno, First Gen president and chief operating officer.

    Puno told reporters at the sidelines of the Arangkada Philippines Forum 2019 in Pasay City last week there are reports citing that India has auctioned off LNG at a price range of $6.30 to $6.70 per million British thermal unit (BTU), which is lower than the over $9 per million BTU being sold at the Malampaya source.

    “That is cheaper than Malampaya and we can compete with coal even in a baseload basis at that price… That is a significant difference,” Puno said

    First Gen said JGC Corp. of Japan, the preferred tenderer for the engineering, procurement and construction of the company’s Batangas LNG terminal project is still completing the studies if it can temporarily use a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) to bring in imported fuel even if the onshore facility is still being constructed.

    “We are talking to FSRU providers since the objective really is to bring in LNG earlier than 2024 as Malampaya also goes to some outages. Sometimes, the gas that they bring in is
    not sufficient for our requirements to support all our natgas plants on a 24×7 basis,” Puno said.

    Last September, the company said it was in talks with least 20 possible natural gas suppliers for the fuel that will be utilized in its terminal.

    First Gen and partner Tokyo Gas have completed significant pre-development work to make the project site construction ready.

    The company is keen on developing the LNG terminal as it currently sources all of its natural gas plants’ fuel from the Malampaya gas project whose contract is set to expire by 2024.

    Among First Gen’s power plants that will need the fuel include the 1,000 megawatts (MW) Sta. Rita, 500 MW San Lorenzo, 97 MW Avion and 414 MW San Gabriel, all in the same vicinity where the terminal will be constructed.

    At present, First Gen has 3,492 MW of installed capacity in its portfolio from natural gas, geothermal, hydro-electric, wind and solar power sources.