SMC en­ergy unit may join First Gen’s LNG ter­mi­nal ven­ture

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By MYRNA M. VE­LASCO

It will likely be a “mar­riage” of two power sec­tor giants, as the en­ergy in­vest­ment arm of San Miguel Cor­po­ra­tion (SMC) is open­ing its doors to a pos­si­ble joint ven­ture deal with First Gen Cor­po­ra­tion of the Lopez Group on the lat­ter’s US$1.0bil­lion liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) im­port han­dling fa­cil­ity.

SMC Pres­i­dent Ra­mon S. Ang told re­porters that he is keen to be in­vited by First Gen to take eq­uity and be part of the de­vel­op­ment of its pro­posed 5.0 mil­lion tons per an­num (mtpa) on­shore LNG ter­mi­nal.

“We can do it (LNG ter­mi­nal) or we can part­ner with First Gen,” he said; while em­pha­siz­ing that he is be­ing prompted on this in­vest­ment de­ci­sion as they now pre­fer to re­tain the 1,200-megawatt Ili­jan plant as a gas-fed fa­cil­ity rather than hav­ing it con­verted into a die­selfired gen­er­at­ing as­set.

“The Ili­jan plant, we will re­tain as gas and we may even ex­pand that… it will be an easy de­ci­sion for us to ex­pand it by ad­di­tional 1,800 megawatts, so to­tal ca­pac­ity will reach 3,000,” Ang said.

He fur­ther em­pha­sized “we have a lot of op­tions, and First Gen and San Miguel are quite close so there’s no prob­lem if they will put up the ter­mi­nal or we will join them.”

The SMC top ex­ec­u­tive ad­mit­ted though that “for­mal in­vi­ta­tion” for po­ten­tial part­ner­ship has yet to spring forth from First Gen, although at this stage, Ang qual­i­fies that “it’s not re­ally a prob­lem if they will put up the ter­mi­nal on their own or it will be a joint ven­ture with us. We can al­ways buy (gas) from them.”

He stressed the 3,000MW ca­pac­ity plan for gas-fired gen­er­a­tion in San Miguel’s port­fo­lio is pru­dently con­sid­ered “be­cause that is the level of ca­pac­ity that would be vi­able for float­ing ter­mi­nals or re­gas -- for it to be eco­nom­i­cal.”

On pro­pounded ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion, Ang in­di­cated that even sit­ing has al­ready been propped for it “be­cause we al­ready bought prop­er­ties close to the ex­ist­ing site of the Ili­jan plant.”

When asked on eq­uity level that will be ac­cept­able to San Miguel on the LNG project, Ang noted that he is “amenable to any per­cent­age”; but he averred dis­cus­sions must kick off first be­tween rel­e­vant par­ties.

First Gen Pres­i­dent Francis Giles B. Puno con­veyed to re­porters last week that in plan­ning the ca­pac­ity of the LNG ter­mi­nal, they also fac­tored in the gas needs of the Ili­jan plant, hence, that was taken as cue for San Miguel to think about pur­su­ing a JV deal in­stead with the pro­po­nent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.