SIX FOREIGN companies have so far “expressed interest” in partnering with Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) in the state-led firm’s plan to put up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility under a yet to be issued terms via a solicited scheme, its top official said.
PNOC President and Chief Executive Office Reuben S. Lista said of the six companies, the latest he had communications with was Dubai-based Lloyds Energy Group LLC on Wednesday last week.
“Dumaan lang sila to make a call dahil pumunta sila sa DoE (They just passed by to make a call because they visited the Department of Energy). Nag-briefing sila (They had a briefing),” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday. The DoE and PNOC are based in the same compound in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
“They are submitting a proposal to DoE. I just do not know if they already submitted a proposal,” he added.
He identified the other companies as China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Bechtel Corp., Tokyo Boeki Machinery Ltd., Gazprom, Mitsui O-S-K Lines.
Several companies previously submitted unsolicited proposals, which PNOC turned down for not meeting either legal, financial or technical criteria. An unsolicited proposal allows its original proponent a chance to match a better counter-offer.
He said the expressions of interest came after PNOC announced that the project would be under a solicited scheme, the terms of which are still being finalized by Asian Development Bank, the consultant tapped to advise on the project. He expects the terms to be finalized by Sept. 28.
The PNOC project is separate from the proposals being received by the DoE, although the corporation’s selected partner, which could be a local or foreign firm or a consortium of both, also has to submit its proposal for the Energy department’s approval.
Mr. Lista previously placed the LNG facility’s estimated cost at around $600 million under a scaled down project that now excludes some components it had floated before such as a 200-megawatt (MW) power plant.
The proponents are in a race to submit a final proposal as only one LNG hub can be accommodated in Batangas, which hosts the country’s existing power plants running on natural gas with a total capacity of 3,211 MW.
Separately, Lloyds Energy said on Tuesday that it had signified its intention to partner with PNOC in the LNG facility under a solicited scheme.
Lloyds Energy said it has a proposal, together with another foreign entity China Kaicheng Energy Ltd., to develop and construct an integrated LNG hub with storage, liquefaction, regasification and distribution facility, as well as a power plant with a capacity of 200 to 800 MW.
“We believe in the vision of the PNOC under the leadership of President Lista to invest not only in the development and construction of LNG facilities but also in the training of Filipino workers to improve their skills and abilities and contribute in the growth of the LNG industry in the Philippines,” Lloyds Energy Executive Director Brett Wight said in the statement on Tuesday.
Lloyds Energy confirmed that its officials had met with Mr. Lista to express the foreign company’s intention to pursue “several major projects” with the DoE’s commercial investment arm.
It said the projects are meant “to enhance and strengthen their relations through the establishment of joint venture agreements and maximize the potential of their expertise and capabilities to develop the LNG industry in the Philippines.”
“Foremost is the plan of Lloyds Energy to join the solicited process recently announced by PNOC in choosing a partner for its planned LNG project,” it said.
“It was earlier announced by the PNOC that under the solicited scheme, it would open the tender to foreign and local firms, starting with the pre-qualification tender schedule within the month, with the selection streamlined to ensure that the project will reach commercial operation before the end of the Service Contract for the Malampaya gas consortium in 2024,” it added.
Aside from the LNG project, Lloyds Energy said it would pursue other projects with the PNOC particularly in the development of LNG facilities, oil reserves and the training of Filipino manpower for work in LNG industries in the Philippines and overseas. — Victor V. Saulon