Philippines' top energy firms partner for $3.3-B LNG facility

(Reuters) - Three top Philippine energy firms have partnered for the first time to form a large-scale integrated LNG facility, the companies said, in a deal two of them valued at $3.3 B.

Aboitiz Power and a subsidiary of Manila Electric (Meralco) agreed to invest in the gas-fired power plants of a unit of San Miguel Corp. SMC.PS: the 1,278 megawatt (MW) Ilijan power plant and a new 1,320 MW facility set to start operating by the end of the year.

The three companies also aim to acquire the import and regasification terminal owned by Linseed Field Corp. to store and process LNG fuel for the two power plants.

"For the first time, three leading power companies are working together to secure our country's energy needs while transitioning towards cleaner power sources," SMC President Ramon Ang said in a statement.

Meralco Chairman Manuel Pangilinan described the deal as a "pathbreaking venture" as the companies hope the facility would bring down power costs and boost the country's energy security.

UBS AG acted as financial adviser to Meralco and Aboitiz Power for the transaction.

The Philippines last year began importing LNG as its only gas field is set to run dry by 2027. The Malampaya field supplies power plants that meet one-fifth of the power requirements of the country's main Luzon island, or more than one-10th of total installed capacity nationwide.


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