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AG&P 'on track' in opening Batangas LNG import facility by July

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
lng
This undated file photo shows an LNG facility. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (AG&P) is on track in opening its integrated liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Ilijan, Batangas this coming July, the firm's executive said on Monday.
File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (AG&P) is on track in opening its integrated liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Ilijan, Batangas this coming July, the firm's executive said on Monday.

The facility— dubbed as the Philippines LNG (PHLNG)— will have an initial capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum for regasified LNG. The terminal is set to store and dispatch LNG to power plant, industrial and commercial customers.

"We will be opening the facility on schedule in July [this year], so everybody is working hard for that goal, and we're very excited about being the first LNG import terminal in the country," Joseph Sigelman, company chairman and CEO, told Philstar.com over Zoom on Monday. 

"When the terminal is fully done, there will be a roughly equal balance between onshore and floating storage, and that's important, as well, because that ensures availability of the terminal in the event of a storm for example and because this is such a critical piece of infrastructure...we have built it to be very resilient," he added. 

Last year, AG&P announced it is pouring in P14.6 billion in its integrated import terminal in Batangas. 

Once completed, the facility will serve the LNG demand requirements of various power projects of the Ang-led SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., including the firm's 1,200 megawatt (MW) Ilijan combined-cycle power plant, and the 850-MW combined cycle power plant expansion.

READ: AG&P investing P14.6 billion for LNG facility

Sigelman on Monday said that San Miguel Corp. is in charge of the supply agreement since the latter is responsible for securing the necessary supplies. 

'Gas seen to help stabilize power grid'

Sigelman says gas will help stabilize the power grid, and aid in the transition to renewable energy (RE) sources. 

"LNG is a transition fuel for renewables. It's very, very important to have gas on the grid because renewables- whether its solar, wind, hydro- are inherently volatile. When there is a cloud or a drought or a lack of wind, the power grid will fluctuate based on those realities," he said. 

"We all want to have a decarbonized environment but to achieve more renewables, there has to be a fuel that will stabilize those troughs [in power generation], and gas is the stabilization fuel," he added.

Sigelman described LNG as a fuel that is "dramatically" cleaner than coal, adding that the fuel burns clean. 

The U.S-based Energy Information Administration said on its website that natural gas is a relatively clean burning fossil fuel that releases fewer emissions of nearly all types of air pollutants and carbon dioxide, compared to producing the same amount of energy by burning coal or petroleum.

However, it added that searching for natural gas deposits in the form of exploration, drilling, and the laying of pipelines may affect the vegetation, soil, air and water quality of some areas. 

The Energy department wants to establish the Philippines as a regional LNG hub in Southeast Asia, with the agency's chief Alfonso Cusi calling natural gas as the "fuel of the future."

Cusi believes that the LNG facilities being put up right now will help the country attain energy security. 

Aside from AG&P's Manila branch, other private firms are also working on LNG facilities in various stages of development across the country. 

These companies are: Shell Group, Excelerate L.P., First Gen Corp., A Brown Co.’s Vires Energy Corp., and Energy World Gas Operations Philippines.

READ: DOE pushes development of liquefied natural gas sector

ALFONSO CUSI

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

JOSEPH SIGELMAN

LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS

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