The construction of a 1,200-megawatt Santa Maria natural gas power plant in Batangas is expected to be completed by late 2024 or early 2025. 

First Gen Corp of the Lopez Group said the scheme is part of its pipeline of projects. 

First Gen president Francis Giles Puno said: “Previously, we have pre-invested in certain common infrastructure and currently we are carrying out pre-development works and securing permits for the project.”

The development of a FGEN liquefied natural gas terminal is expected to pave the way for the Santa Maria project, which, if needed, could be online by late 2024 or early 2025.

Puno explained that the LNG project would play a critical role to ensure the energy security of the Luzon Grid and the Philippines as the Malampaya gas resource was depleting and was becoming less reliable in providing fuel supply for First Gen’s own gas-fired power plants.

Under the plans modifications will be made to First Gen’s existing jetty facilities in Batangas to enable LNG to be shipped to the country from anywhere in the world and regasify the LNG molecules via a floating storage and regasification unit.

First Gen chairman Federico Lopez commented: “Our own transition to a decarbonized future will be anchored in the next few years by our efforts to bring in liquefied natural gas before the end of Malampaya. Bear in mind though that while we are embarking on this timely shift to LNG, we are, at the same time, also planning for its eventual phaseout in ways that complement a pathway to carbon neutrality by 2050 and consistent with a 1.5 degrees Celsius target.”

The company has awarded the turnkey construction contract to McConnell Dowell of Australia. A chartering contract for the floating storage and regasifying of the LNG vessel has been awarded to BW Gas Ltd of Norway.

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28th May 2021