Project sponsor-firm Vires Energy Corporation (VEC), a subsidiary of listed firm A. Brown Company Inc., has formally admitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) the information lapse on its targeted deployment of floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that is tied to its planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility in Batangas.

That then prompted the DOE to issue a statement clarifying that the “BW Paris” FSRU will no longer be used by VEC because it was not able to firm up a deal with the owner-firm BW FSRU Pte. Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of BW Gas Limited of Norway.

“The DOE was informed by Vires that its original plan to use the ‘BW Paris’ LNG tanker vessel for its proposed floating storage and regasification unit did not materialize,” the department stated.

As the deal on “BW Paris” fell through because that was already committed to another LNG import facility project in the Philippines, VEC apprised Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi that the company “is currently considering options and/or arrangements of other potential vessel to proceed with its planned integrated natural gas fired power plant and LNG storage and regasification terminal project.”

VEC, in its project application with the DOE, had emphasized that it is eyeing commercial operation date in 2023; and its import facility will also have an anchor load via a targeted 500-megawatt power project.

VEC President Eduardo V. Mañalac indicated that in their initial application for the notice-to-proceed (NTP) on the LNG terminal venture that was lodged with the DOE as early as June 2020, “we were in communication with BW for the possible use of their BW Paris FSRU for the LNG terminal component of our integrated project which did not progress to a successful closure.”

He thus reiterated that their company is currently exploring options on their targeted FSRU chartering to underpin VEC’s gas import facility.

Cusi further noted that “as far as the department is concerned, what we look at are the proponents’ commitment and compliance to the requirements at each project stage.”

Other than that, the energy chief qualified, “the rest are proponents’ business decisions, which the DOE is not privy to and has no control over.”

Cusi explained “proposals at NTP level may be viewed as ‘initial plans and programs’ that are still subject to change,” adding that “once we approve a proponent’s NTP, then the company must now negotiate and enter (into) contracts, as part of the requirements to move on to the next stage – which is applying for a permit to construct.”

The energy chief stressed “at worst, if a proponent fails to meet its commitments, then we could cancel the permits issued to said company.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (