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Walang sulutan! BW Gas says its LNG storage contract is with FGEN; talks with Walter Brown’s Vires never went beyond drawing board

A Norwegian liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker supplier has clarified a report by the Department of Energy which erroneously assigned one of its ships to Vires Energy Corp. of bilyonaryo Walter Brown.

In its April 26 letter to the DDOE, BW Gas Limited vice president Akbar Sha said that as early as April 3, BW Gas already agreed to a five-year charter contract with First Gen where the former’s BW Paris, a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), would serve the Lopez firm’s interim offshore LNG terminal project in Batangas City.

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BW Gas said it was “not correct” for DOE to claim in its April 25 press release that Vires Energy would use BW Paris for the latter’s LNG terminal which was also located in Batangas.

Lopez initiated the deal with BW Gas in October 2020.

A month later, BW Gas issued a commitment of undertaking to FGEN in which it committed not to contract BW Paris to any other person or firm, either conditionally or unconditionally.

“Prior to issuing the commitment undertaking in respect of FGEN LNG, BW Gas had received preliminary inquiries in respect of the BW Paris from various companies, including some Philippine companies, including parties claiming to represent Vires Energy Corporation, however, the nature of such inquiries never went beyond the exploratory,” BW Gas said.

A. Brown Co., Vires Energy’s publicly-listed parent, also corrected the DOE’s press release, noting that it still has not secured a tanker for its LNG project.

“At the time of Vires’ initial Application for a NTP (notice to proceed) in June 2020, it was still in communication with BW Paris for the possible use of the BW Paris FSRU for the LNG Terminal component of its Integrated Project. The negotiations with BW, however, did not progress to a successful closure. Vires Energy, therefore, is still currently considering options and/or arrangements of other potential vessels,” A. Brown said.

In its statement, the DOE said it approved Vires Energy’s application to proceed with its proposed integrated liquefied natural gas project in Batangas province after presenting BW Paris as its partner.

To avoid any more confusion, BW Gas declared in its letter to the DOE that it was “committed to providing the BW Paris, solely and exclusively, to the FGEN LNG project and we look forward to working closely with FGEN LNG to play a catalytic role in the growth of the Philippine gas industry.”

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