Philippines finally takes to the LNG stage

The Philippines this month will finally join the global ranks of liquefied natural gas importers after decades of proposed schemes either failed to leave the drawing board or remain delayed.

AG&P will take the crown, receiving its first cargo within days at the Ish floating storage unit (FSU) it has leased from Adnoc for the PHLNG project in Batangas Bay near the Philippines capital Manila. Imported volumes will initially be used as feed gas at San Miguel’s 1200-megawatt Ilijan power plant.

LNG imports will be important to the nation’s energy security in coming years given the natural production decline from the Malampaya gas field offshore Palawan that for more than 20 years has helped to keep the lights on for many on Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island.

Trader Vitol Asia is supplying the maiden cargo destined for San Miguel from its global LNG portfolio. Vitol confirmed that a few days ago it loaded this cargo, supplied under a long-term contract by Adnoc, in Das Island in the UAE. The LNG is being shipped on the 161,900-cubic metre carrier Golar Glacier and scheduled for delivery to the Philippines around the middle of this month.

Singapore-headquartered AG&P LNG has contracted the Ish FSU for a firm 11 years with the option to extend for a further 48 months. Adnoc L&S is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the vessel, that is at the heart of the 5 million tonnes per annum capacity PHLNG import project.

“PHLNG will be the fifth FSU-based LNG import terminal in the world, after those in India, Malta, Malaysia and Bahrain,” Adnoc earlier said.

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“We are pleased and excited to have worked closely with our partner San Miguel Global Power on this historic and first LNG cargo into the Philippines,” said Mike Muller, president of Vitol Asia.

“This is a significant milestone, and we look forward to bringing more LNG supply from around the world to meet the rising gas demand of the Philippines.”