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First Gen still undecided on partner for LNG project.

LOPEZ-led First Gen Corp. remains undecided on which company it would take on as a partner for its $1-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Batangas.

'We are working on it. Hopefully, this year, we will announce something for the partnership,' First Gen CFO Emmanuel Antonio P. Singson said. 'We need a partner before the ground breaking.'

First Gen has set its sight on 'on less than five' firms interested in the partnership. The identities of these firms were not divulged, pending selection of its preferred partner.

'We have a shortlist; a couple, less than five. On the technical side it's mostly foreign, but we are also looking for other strategic partners like the government,' Singson added.

First Gen is keen on building a $1-billion LNG facility in Batangas where its four gas plants are located, with target completion date possibly by 2022 or 2023.

Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) earlier said First Gen is willing to partner with the government for the development of an ambitious LNG facility. The state firm wants the groundbreaking to take place middle of this year.

First Gen and PNOC have met in the past to discuss the possibility of working together to develop an LNG infrastructure.

'We welcome government's participation, through PNOC, in enabling LNG and further grow the gas industry in the country and we look forward to further talks with PNOC.

An LNG infrastructure is vital to our country's energy security and we are committed to participate in building world-class facilities that are consistent with the administration's thrust to develop the country's infrastructure,' the company had said.

First Gen believes LNG infrastructure can be developed not only in Luzon but also in the Visayas and Mindanao, which will allow access to gas in the island grids.

Singson stressed that what is important is that the government has realized that LNG is important and critical. 'In the last five years, there's no momentum for LNG. At least, now the government is aligning how we can make it work, if it's private initiative or private and government, or all of it would be government.'

First Gen has been developing an LNG terminal for the past five years to ensure that its 2,000 megawatts of operating gas plants will have LNG to replace Malampaya gas when it runs out. This will pave the way for the continued use of gas and the building of more LNG infrastructure.

First Gen believes LNG represents the fuel of the future as it is competitive, clean and flexible and complements renewables and storage technologies.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 14, 2018
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