DOE marks PH as LNG Hub

TAGUIG CITY- The Department of Energy (DOE) promoted the Philippines as a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) hub that will ultimately serve not only the country’s energy needs, but also that of the Southeast Asian region as envisioned by Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi.

Speaking at the first virtually integrated LNG and Clean Energy event earlier entitled, “The 2nd LNG and Clean Energy Investment Summit”, Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III urged investors to take a look at the many LNG investment opportunities in the Philippines.
Assistant Secretary Pulido told the more than 200 leading industry executives and experts gathered at the virtual event that the country is fast tracking the development of the LNG industry and it is now ripe for investment. 

The DOE official also called on the support of the participants who, he said, convened to address a common goal: expansion of the LNG and Clean Energy industries in the Philippines.   

During the summit, Assistant Secretary Pulido, who supervises the Natural Gas Management Division of the Oil Industry Management Bureau (NGMD-OIMB), presented an overview of the LNG Investment in the Philippines.

He explained that the Philippine natural gas sector essentially is all about the Malampaya Gas Power Project in the West Philippine Sea, which is being run by a consortium composed of Shell, Chevron, and the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC).

He pointed out that natural gas currently provides for 3,200 megawatts of electricity and accounts for 21.1% in the 2019 Gross Generation of the country. But in Luzon alone, natural gas’ contribution last year was at 29.3%.

“With Malampaya’s depletion estimated to occur in the next few years, there is an urgent need to attract more investments in the downstream LNG industry,” Assistant Secretary Pulido stressed. 

As such, the DOE has approved the permits of five proposed LNG Regasification Terminal Projects targeted for operation from 2022 to 2025. These include three proponents, namely Excelerate Energy L.P., Batangas Clean Energy Inc., and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company of Manila, Inc. which were issued with a Notice to Proceed (NTP); and two (2) proponents, namely FGEN LNG Corporation and Energy World Gas Operations Philippines Inc. both issued with Permit to Construct.

“The timely implementation of these proposed LNG projects shall facilitate for the entry of LNG in the country. We will also be attaining energy security for natural gas not only for power generation requirements, but also for other potential applications of natural gas in industrial, commercial, residential and transport sectors,” Assistant Secretary Pulido said.

He added that the Department Circular otherwise known as the “Rules and Regulations of the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry,” together with Executive Order No. 30 on Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS) and Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, have provided for the regulatory framework that is conducive to the entry of potential LNG proponents from private sector to assist the government in developing the natural gas industry in the country.

The summit was organized by the Pinnacle Group International and PCM Asia, Singapore in collaboration with Asia Pacific Basin for Energy Strategies. Pinnacle Group International is a leader in the conference industry in Asia, while the Asia Pacific Basin for Energy Strategies (a Nonprofit Organization) is an energy and economic think-tank bringing its advocacy to the United Nations to negotiate oil prices vis-a-vis the OPEC, Gulf oil states, financial institutions and traders in oil.