DOE says natural gas plan out by yearend
The government said other energy sources must be developed as the Malampaya gas field would get depleted by 2020

MANILA, Philippines – By 2020, the Malampaya gas field in Palawan, supplying 40-45% of Luzon’s power needs, will have run out. To address energy sustainability, the Department of Energy (DOE) is devising a master plan for the development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said they aim to finish the master plan before the year ends.

“This is a great concern for us. Thus, we are also exploring the importation of LNG and the development of more LNG sources in this country,” he said during the Platts Forum on Oil, Coal and Biofuels in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday, July 9.

LNG is natural gas converted into liquid form for easy storage and transport. It is regasified and delivered as natural gas to facilities through pipelines.

Private sector investments

The master plan will take into consideration the projects planned by the private sector for the coming years.

“This is the right time to go LNG. It’s good timing as far as incentives is concerned. This is what we plan to come up with when we release the master plan,” Petilla said.

Several power players have expressed interest in the countrywide development of LNG facilities.

Lopez-led First Gen Corp. is producing a maximum of 1,300 megawatts of power capacity fueled by natural gas from its Batangas facility.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. announced it would proceed with the front-end engineering and design for an LNG import facility in Batangas, while Australia’s Energy World International Ltd. also plans to put up an LNG terminal in Quezon that is targeted to be completed by January 2014.

LNG importation

Petilla said the Energy department is also working on securing LNG from gas-rich Canada, Brunei, and other countries.

He said they are studying a pricing scheme that would yield reduced rates for consumers. –

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