Three government-approved LNG import terminal projects in the Philippines are expected to begin commercial operations in early 2023, marking the birth of the country’s LNG industry, a senior energy official said on Sept. 27.

The projects are those of Singapore-based Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific (AG&P), First Gen Corp., and Australia-listed Energy World Corp., said Laura Saguin, head of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) natural gas management division.

The three terminals are among six such projects that the DOE has approved. Three others are expected to come online within the next three years, including a project proposed by Shell Plc.

The Philippines will need to import LNG to fuel gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of more than 3,000 megawatts (MW), as output from its Malampaya gas field in the South China Sea is expected to start declining this year and to be depleted by 2027.

AG&P’s project, previously scheduled for commissioning in July this year, is slated to begin operation in the first quarter of 2023, Saguin said at an investment summit.

“We had some supply chain challenges during the COVID period, [but now] we are working with multiple suppliers,” Karthik Sathyamoorthy, president of AG&P LNG Terminals and Logistics, told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit.

AG&P will source LNG from the Middle East and Australia under short- and long-term supply agreements, though he declined to specify volumes.

AG&P’s terminal will have a 5 million tonnes per annum (mpta) capacity and fuel the existing 1,200-MW Ilijan power plant in Batangas province.

First Gen, which operates several gas-fired plants, has also delayed its Batangas terminal launch to next March from October this year.

Energy World, which has built a 650 MW power plant as an anchor market, aims to operate its 3 mtpa terminal in Quezon province by the first quarter of 2023.