Texas-based firm seeks DOE nod to start LNG hub project


Texas-based Excelerate Energy LP has sought the approval of the Department of Energy to start the construction of a liquefied natural gas project in Batangas province next year.

“Yes, they’ve submitted and pending evaluation,” Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III said.

Excelerate submitted an application for permit to construct, expand, rehabilitate and modify the the Filipinas LNG Gateway project, the country’s first open access LNG import terminal, prior to the expiration of the notice to proceed it obtained from the department.

The company is developing the country’s first open access floating storage re-gasification unit, an LNG import terminal in offshore areas of Batangas Bay, costing about P11.3 billion ($230 million).

The open access LNG project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2022 as the Philippines prepares contingency measures with the expected depletion of the Malampaya natural gas field.

Ramon Wangdi, president of Luzon LNG Terminal Inc., the local subsidiary of Excelerate, earlier said the submission of the PCERM to the DOE would be “the next steps in bringing this nationally important facility online as early as the second quarter of 2022.”

Under the open access model, Filipinas LNG will provide access to all power plants in the Luzon region which use natural gas as a fuel for generating electricity.

“Since receiving a notice-to-proceed from the Philippine DOE in late 2019, Excelerate has worked diligently to develop Filipinas LNG so that the energy markets can be prepared for the next chapter after Malampaya,” Wangdi said.

He said Excelerate and local partner Topline Energy and Power Development Corp. made significant progress on the project despite substantial challenges due to COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns.

The supply from the Malampaya gas field in offshore northwest Palawan started to decline and Filipinas LNG said its LNG project would address the country’s need to supplement and eventually replace Malampaya by supplying a quick, reliable and sustainable gas solution.

The terminal will utilize Excelerate’s state-of-the-art offshore FSRU technology, designed to perform in extreme weather conditions like those of the Philippines.

The technology has been proven at Excelerate’s operations in the United States within the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic, Israel and recently, the Bay of Bengal.

“Reliability is critical in fueling power plants, and when it comes to LNG, there is no substitute for experience,” said Wangdi.

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