THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it has set the dates for the environmental-impact hearing of Linseed Field Power Corp.’s proposed P14.6-billion liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Ilijan, Batangas City.

In a notice of hearing, the DENR said an onsite session will take place in Barangay Ilijan on Feb. 18 while another session via videoconference is scheduled for the next day.

Parties seeking to attend are required to confirm their attendance and e-mail their comments in advance to the DENR’s Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Division.

The DENR said the hearings are in aid of reviewing the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS), a key pre-construction milestone.

According to Linseed’s EIS submitted last month, the terminal will be built on nine hectares, leased from Ilijan Primeline Holdings, Inc.

Linseed said that the import facility is scheduled to be operational by June 2022.

The project will be adjacent to the operational Ilijan Power Plant and Kepco Ilijan Corp. The terminal is designed for onshore regasification and storage, and will be supported with a floating storage unit.

In its EIS, Linseed said the facility hopes to step in as a supplier to the 1,200-megawatt (MW) Ilijan combined-cycle plant which is currently sourcing its gas from the Malampaya field. The plant’s supply agreement with the Malampaya Deepwater Gas-to-Power project expires in June next year.

“Without the proposed LNG terminal, the power plant — which supplies more than 10% of the 11,304 MW capacity of the Luzon grid — would have to try extending its supply agreement with Malampaya… or cease operations altogether.”

Linseed added that the LNG facility will also supply the requirements of SMC Global Power’s planned 850-megawatt mid-merit plant, which is set to begin commercial operations by 2022.

“This terminal therefore is an important component of securing almost 20% of the power demand of Luzon,” Linseed said in its EIS. It added that the project is expected to contribute to the local economy, particularly the host barangay, through “taxes, employment opportunities, social development programs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.”

In a Senate hearing last month, legislators solicited comment on the measure proposing to regulate the industry, Senate Bill No. 1819. The proposed regulations cover various stages of the LNG import process, like aggregation, supply, receipt, unloading, loading, processing, storage, regasification, transmission, and transportation of natural gas in original or liquefied form.

The Malampaya project, which supplies fuel to five Luzon-based power plants with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts, accounted for 21.1% of gross power generated in 2019. The DoE (Department of Energy) projects that its reserves will be depleted in six years’ time. — Angelica Y. Yang