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Shell unit plans LNG storage vessel in Batangas, says DoE

By Angelica Y. Yang

SHELL Energy Philippines, Inc. (SEPH) is planning to lease a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) for its planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Tabangao, Batangas, an official of the Energy department said.

SEPH is engaged in power marketing and the trading business, according to the website of publicly listed Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., which describes it as “100% Shell-owned.”

“The Notice to Proceed (NTP) is to develop an FSRU, but the FSRU will be leased. Only the ancillary facilities will be constructed such as the underwater pipeline. The jetty is existing but (will) be enhanced,” Ma. Laura L. Saguin, division chief of natural gas management of the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Oil Industry Management Bureau, told BusinessWorld in an e-mail on Friday.

“The proposed project will [be] located in Tabangao, Batangas,” she added.

An FSRU contains an onboard regasification facility, which can turn LNG back to gas. Natural gas is often liquefied for ease of transport.

Ms. Saguin earlier said that SEPH received the NTP from the DoE on March 16. She also said that another entity, Vires Energy Corp., was still “ongoing complete staff work” for its NTP application.

She made these statements a few days after DoE Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III said that there were two prospective LNG terminal bidders whose applications were being evaluated by the department.

On Thursday, Pilipinas Shell Communications and Social Performance Manager Cesar C. Abaricia said in a Viber message that the NTP “will enable us to further explore the opportunity of importing LNG into the Philippines.”

OTHER LNG PROJECT PROPONENTS
As of March 23, four permit holders are clustered in Batangas, where the country’s gas-fired power plants are located. These are FGEN LNG Corp., Excelerate Energy L.P., Batangas Clean Energy, Inc., and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. of Manila, Inc. (AG&P).

Meanwhile, Energy World Gas Operations Philippines, Inc., which also holds a permit, is building an LNG plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.

The update was given by Mr. Pulido during the second LNG and Clean Energy Investment Summit held virtually on Tuesday.

FGEN LNG and Energy World both hold permits to construct an interim floating storage and regasification unit (FSRUs) and an onshore LNG terminal, respectively.

Excelerate and AG&P have NTPs for their FSRU, and floating storage unit and onshore gasification terminal, respectively. Batangas Clean Energy also holds an NTP for an onshore terminal.

In a Jan. 29 activity statement shared with the Australian Stock Exchange, Energy World Corp. Ltd said that the ongoing lockdown in Luzon had affected normal operations in the firm’s Pagbilao LNG hub terminal and power plant.

“However, our land acquisition program for the right of way has continued and video conferencing meetings have been possible with the DoE on both the Pagbilao Hub and Power Projects,” the Australian-based firm said in its filing.

It added that the DoE advised the firm that the building of its Pagbilao substation had been delayed, and is targeted for completion between March to June next year.

Energy World Corp. Ltd owns the local unit Energy World Gas Operations Philippines, Inc.

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