(Adds Philippine energy dept statement, project details, background)
Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Excelerate Energy will proceed with its floating LNG import terminal project, Luzon LNG, after receiving the go ahead from the Philippines.
"Excelerate will develop, design, permit, construct, finance, and operate the terminal," the company said after reporting a notice to proceed from the Philippines government. It will also arrange the supply of LNG to the terminal.
The facility, which will have a storage capacity of 150,000 cubic meters, will be set up in the Bay of Batangas on the main island of Luzon, near power plants running on Malampaya natural gas, the Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) said on Friday.
"As proposed, by the third quarter of 2021 we are expecting that Excelerate's FSRU LNG facility will commercially operate," Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.
The Southeast Asian country will rely on imported natural gas to feed some of its power plants currently running on its Malampaya gas, which is expected to be depleted within the next decade.
Within six months from the issuance of the notice to proceed, Excelerate has to comply with permit requirements and submit the proof of financial closing to the DOE.
The completion of construction and commissioning of the facility will take around two years, from October 2019 to June 2021, the DOE said.
At least three other Philippine LNG projects are currently in the pipeline: First Gen Corp's venture with Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Australia-listed Energy World Corp's LNG hub project in Pagbilao province, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc's LNG hub proposal.
Power producer First Gen said in May it had completed "significant pre-development work" for its planned LNG terminal to be built near its four Malampaya gas-fed power plants with a combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts.
Energy World was nearing completion of its Pagbilao project, Managing Director and Chief Executive Stewart Elliott said in May.
Phoenix last year won government approval to build a $2 billion LNG terminal, also in Batangas, with CNOOC Gas and Power, a unit of CNOOC and China's largest LNG importer and terminal operator, as one of its potential partners.
The DOE said SMC Global Power Holdings Corp, a unit of Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp that operates a 1,200-MW power plant also running on Malampaya gas, has expressed interest to become a customer of Excelerate. This, however, could not immediately be verified. (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki and Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)