PTT PH eyes partner to put up $2-B LNG plant

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PTT Philippines Corp. is looking for a joint venture partner to put up a $2 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Luzon in line with the company’s plans to diversify into the LNG business.

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Wisarn Chawalitanon, PTT Philippines president, said a local investor has signified interest to join PTT in the planned project. He did not identify the company’s prospective partner.

However, PTT may just take a minority stake in the envisioned LNG project because the local investor wants a majority holding, the PTT president said. Investment for an integrated LNG project with a 500-megawatt (MW) capacity could be around $2 billion, he added.

“These are in very preliminary stages. Investments could be around $2 billion for the entire integrated project,” he said.

Chawalitanon said the LNG facility may be established near Subic where PTT currently has an oil depot.

He said PTT Philippines wanted to diversify into LNG because the firm has an expertise in this area. PTT Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, PTT Philippines’ parent firm, built the first LNG receiving terminal in Thailand called the Map Ta Phut Terminal in August 2004.

Chawalitanon said PTT was previously offered to put up a 30 MW power plant in Subic but the company deemed it too small for economies of scale to come into play. For the company to invest in power generation, specifically LNG, he said that the facility should be from 400 MW to 1,200 MW.

The problem with an LNG terminal, he explained, is that it cannot stand alone. “There should be (a viable) demand. Otherwise, we cannot compete with the prices,” he said.

Chawalitanon said PTT is most likely to negotiate with the Manila Electric Co. for a possible power supply agreement if the plan to put up an LNG facility pushes ahead.

PTT Philippines is currently one of the country’s oil players with around 74 retail stations, mostly located in Luzon. RITCHIE A. HORARIO

 

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