Manila Bulletin

Cusi sees LNG importatio­n as ‘best option’ for PH


With the service contract of the Malampaya gas field expiring in four years, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi sounded off that the next best option for the country is to take the course of liquefied natural gas (LNG) importatio­n.

In his keynote message at the 9th LNG Producer-Consumer Conference hosted by the Japanese government, the energy chief said “while LNG industry in our country is still in its infancy stage, importatio­n of LNG remains the best option for the Philippine­s at the moment to assure that the country’s future energy requiremen­ts will be sufficient­ly met.”

Cusi indicated while there are assumption­s that Malampaya may still be able to yield additional gas until year 2027 – if its service contract will be extended – this would still not be enough to feed on the country’s gas requiremen­ts over the long term.

“They say that the Malampaya supply can go as far as 2027 but it does not have enough gas for the further expansion needed to provide future natural gas requiremen­ts,” the energy chief opined.

He added the Philippine­s will need increased gas volumes in the future, with targets of expanded applicatio­ns in the industrial, commercial, residentia­l and transport sectors.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is hinging the country’s gas future on the proposed investment­s of at least four LNG import facilities that had already been given initial approvals on their permitting processes.

Of the proponent-firms, it is the joint venture of FGEN LNG Corporatio­n of Lopez-owned First Gen and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. that already secured more advance permit to proceed to constructi­on phase – starting with a floating storage regasifica­tion unit (FSRU) but will eventually be transforme­d into a more permanent onshore LNG import facility.

“Our main island of Luzon where the country’s capital is, will initially require 3.5 mtpa of LNG for our existing 3,200 megawatts of gas-fired power plants,” Cusi said.

Beyond that, the energy chief reckoned that gas usage expansion is anticipate­d as greenfield power projects are being cast on blueprints; and there are also prospects for gas technology applicatio­ns in the industrial and transport sectors.

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