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DoE extends permit for LNG project


THE Department of Energy (DoE) has extended the permit of Tanglawan Philippine LNG Inc. — the joint venture of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. and China National Offshore Oil Company Gas and Power Group Co. Ltd. (CNOOC G&P) — to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.

In a chance interview on Friday, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos said the agency approved Tanglawan’s request to extend its notice to proceed (NTP) “last month” which would expire in December or January next year.

“Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi already signed their request for an NTP extension,” Marcos said.

The DoE issued the consortium’s NTP on Dec. 21, 2018 that was valid for six months. Earlier, Phoenix Petroleum said Tanglawan filed for an extension of its permit on June 20, 2019, two days before its expiration.

When asked why Tanglawan sought an extension, Marcos noted there are so many hurdles to overcome in the permitting process to develop the LNG terminal.

Under Department Circular DC2017-11-0012, also known as the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Regulation (PDNGR), the Energy secretary holds the discretion to prolong the validity of the NTP for another six months.

However, in the event of force majeure, the permit may be extended for an indefinite period of time provided the company presents the work program on how it intends to resolve the issue hampering them to fulfill its contract.

The LNG project plans to build a regasification and receiving terminal with a capacity of 2.2 metric tons per annum. It also aims to develop a gas-fired power plant with an installed capacity of up to 2,000 megawatts.

In March, Phoenix Petroleum; CNOOC G&P, a subsidiary of CNOOC; and state-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the planned LNG terminal in Batangas.

The MoU will enable the three firms to explore and discuss business opportunities and cooperation in relation to the equity investment in Tanglawan and other companies; PNOC facilities and banked gas; market development; and future energy projects.

Phoenix Petroleum Vice President for External Affairs, Business Development, and Security Raymond Zorrilla had said the company still aims to break ground the LNG facility by end-2019.

The Dennis Uy-led company previously said it was targeting to start the LNG terminal’s commercial operations by end-2023.

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