A BROWN Co., Inc. (A Brown) has acquired a Singaporean energy firm that plans to build a liquified natural gas (LNG) power plant and floating terminal in Batangas.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Monday, the Cagayan de Oro-based listed company said it completed last week its purchase of 99.995% outstanding capital of Vires Energy Corp. (Vires), which is owned by Singapore-based Agro Group Pte. Ltd.

Vires is set to build an integrated floating LNG storage and regasification terminal and a P35-billion 506-megawatt floating natural gas-fired power plant in Barangay Simlong, Batangas City.

“The acquisition of Vires Energy reflects our confidence in the role of natural gas in providing for a clean and cost-effective energy source. We are excited to push the project forward,” A Brown Chairman Walter W. Brown was quoted as saying.

The gas project has been cleared for environmental compliance and has secured registration with the Board of Investments.

A Department of Energy (DoE) technical working group reviewing Vires’ application for notice to proceed has yet to submit its report, Rino E. Abad, the director of the DoE-Oil Industry Management Bureau, said in a phone message.

The Philippines has planned to import LNG from global importers as a substitute for the diminishing output of Malampaya.

The country’s sole indigenous gas producer, Malampaya gas-to-power project, which supplies 20% of the country’s electricity, is expected to be almost depleted by 2027.

Meanwhile, Mr. Brown is slated to be the chairman of Vires, while Eduardo V. Manalac will remain as president and chief executive officer of the company.

It was in October last year that A Brown and Agro Group signed a memorandum of agreement for Vires’ capital acquisition.

A Brown is the holding company of Brown Group of Companies which business interests include real estate development, palm oil production, and power generation.

On Monday, shares in A Brown jumped by 11.11% to close at P0.70 apiece. — Adam J. Ang