Senator Win Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to fast-track the development of a new indigenous energy source to ensure stability in the Philippines’ long-term energy supply with the inevitable closure of the Malampaya gas facility.
“The government must redouble its efforts in exploring and developing new energy sources. The government must find a way to fill the void that will be left in the wake of Malampaya’s depletion. Failing to do so would result in a catastrophic energy crisis of a magnitude that this country has not witnessed since the so-called Dark Ages of the first Aquino administration,” Gatchalian said.
The Senate Committee on Energy said that even if the government decides to extend the Malampaya contract, the Palawan-based gas field is projected to be completely depleted by 2030.
Malampaya currently covers 2,700 MW of installed energy capacity and is set to close when its service contract expires in 2024.
DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi said in previous reports that the government is looking to develop the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to support the Malampaya operations, should the service contract of the consortium wouldn’t be extended.
“Malampaya (consortium) should initiate the renewal if they want to renew because at the end of the term, it reverts back to the government. What we are doing is preparing for any eventuality,” Cusi said. “Whatever is best for the country, that’s the direction we will take.”
He added that the DOE is studying all options, including the privatization of the facility of the service contract isn’t renewed.