PNOC inks LNG, power infrastructure deal with US firm
The MOU was signed on Oct. 14 by PNOC president and CEO Reuben Lista and NFE chairman and CEO Wes Edens in a virtual ceremony.
STAR/File
PNOC inks LNG, power infrastructure deal with US firm
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a memorandum of understanding(MOU) with US-based New Fortress Energy LLC (NFE) to advance the development of the power and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure in the country.

Under the MOU, PNOC and NFE will work together to identify potential opportunities to accelerate the development of LNG and power infrastructure in the country, which may encourage future investments to build a new and durable LNG value chain in the Philippines that are capable of generating jobs, revenue and opportunity far beyond prospective terminal or power plant sites.

The MOU was signed on Oct. 14 by PNOC president and CEO Reuben Lista and NFE chairman and CEO Wes Edens in a virtual ceremony.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is also the ex-officio chairman of PNOC, also joined the virtual gathering to witness the signing ceremony and show Department of Energy (DOE)’s support to the joint undertaking.

“We welcome this recent development in light of our intensified efforts to ensure the country’s energy security with the expected depletion of Malampaya, and as part of our initial steps towards attaining our vision of establishing the Philippines as a regional LNG hub in Southeast Asia,”Cusi said.

“We hope that this partnership would bear fruit that would redound to the advantage of our people,” he said.

PNOC was already in the process of competitive selection for a partner for the LNG Terminal Project when it was shelved in December 2018, due to increased private sector interest to undertake the entire project on their own.

“We are confident that, with this cooperation with New Fortress Energy, PNOC will find meaningful ways to contribute to achieving energy security and stability in the country,” Lista said.

“NFE can help us bridge the gaps in the value chain for a robust LNG industry and enable us to take that giant leap towards the realization of the Philippines’ potential as a strategic LNG hub for the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

For its part, Edens said the MOU would enable cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy for the people of the Philippines.

“Increasing access to power across the islands at a rapid pace will create significant growth opportunities. We look forward to working closely with our partners at PNOC and the government to bring more reliable power and help accelerate the clean energy transition,”

New Fortress Energy is a US-based global energy infrastructure company founded in 2014 and is listed on Nasdaq. It specializes in the construction and operation of LNG import terminals and other related facilities on natural gas utilization.

PNOC said the MOU is non-binding on the parties, and actual terms of any future definitive agreement may differ from the terms of the MOU.

In January, Lista said PNOC it is open to partner with companies interested in invest in the country’s LNG projects.

He added that partnerships with prospective investors would allow the government to monitor developments in the LNG sector.

PNOC had previously signed MOUs with various foreign companies for its LNG initiatives such as its MOU with China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co. (CPP) to jointly pursue LNG, refinery and oil depot projects all over the country.

CPP is a unit of state-run China National Petroleum Corp. which specializes in pipeline engineering and construction.

PNOC also signed an MOU with Israel-based Ratio Petroleum Ltd. to pursue possible joint oil and gas exploration projects in the country.

The MOU seeks to establish cooperation between the two parties to conduct research and feasibility studies; exchange of technical information, including coordination to facilitate necessary permits and clearances; and sharing of technical resources and capabilities for project development.

The state-run firm also signed an MOU with Dubai-based Lloyds Energy to explore cooperative ways for the development of LNG facilities and natural gas generation plants and other related activities in government properties in Limay, Bataan; Bauan, Batangas and Mabini, Batangas.

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