The government and the private sector could start the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the country next year in anticipation of the depletion of the Malampaya gas platform, the country’s energy chief said on Thursday.
“Magandang balita po, Mayor, Mr. President, ang development ng LNG mula sa partnership po ng AG&P at Osaka Gas ay maaaring magsimula ng commercial operation by second quarter of 2022,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte regarding the accomplishments of his department.
“At ang partnership naman po ng First Gen ay maaaring — and Tokyo Gas is due for commercial operation by the third quarter of 2022.”
In line with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) mandate to secure the country’s long-term energy sources, the Duterte administration continues to pursue the exploration of indigenous resources such as gas and oil in the West Philippine Sea, Cusi said.
After the President’s order to lift the moratorium on five service contracts, Cusi said the DOE recommended the awarding of four additional service contracts for exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
The DOE is also closely studying the possible use of nuclear energy in the country, according to the energy secretary.
“Noong December 2020, nagsumite ng ulat sa Pangulo ang Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee para sa realization of the Philippine Nuclear Energy Program,” he said.
“Inaasahan po nating maging bahagi ng energy mix ang nuclear energy for energy security.”
The DOE is also looking at the potential of hydrogen, which is considered the fuel of the future. Cusi said the Philippines has ongoing studies with Australia and Japan regarding hydrogen use.
The energy chief also reported the country’s projected future energy requirements.
Since 2016, the additional power capacity is 4,863 megawatts, or 23-percent increase from 21,424 megawatts to 26,287 megawatts in 2020.
Although there was an increase in supply, consumption dropped by 4 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cusi said.
Despite the reduced consumption, he said the construction of more power plants continues with the expected revival of the Philippine economy.
“We are expecting an additional capacity of 7,712 megawatts from 2021 to 2027. Noong 2020, nagpahayag ang kagawaran ng moratorium on coal projects tungo sa pagsulong ng renewable energy,” he said.
And to ensure that the country would have additional power supply as well as reserves or ancillary services, the energy secretary said the government expected financial closing from power plants to start the construction of new facilities.
“Overall po, magdadagdag ng capacity by around 30 megawatts from 2021 to 2032,” he said. PND