Philippines aims to become LNG trailblazer in SEA

DOE pushing for EO to prioritize critical energy projects

The Philippines, with its geographical advantage, is looking to become Southeast Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub.

Philippine National Oil Co. is leading the government’s efforts of developing an integrated LNG receiving and distributing facility with a 200-megawatt (MW) reserve initial power capacity.

In a briefing at the Power the Philippines Forum hosted by GE yesterday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that this project is made to ensure the capacity of power supply from natural gas power plants in anticipation of the eventual depletion of Malampaya gas field by the year 2024.

Around 3,200 MW of power plant capacity is dependent on the Malampaya gas field as it is the country’s sole natural gas source.

“Aside from maintenance and preparation for eventual depletion of Malampaya, that study on LNG became a little bigger when we saw the Philippines can become LNG hub, and we’d like to give it a shot,” Cusi said.

Energy Secretary Cusi said that the project is progressing as there were around 50 parties interested to co-develop the terminal.

“[The Philippines’] logistics, the regional proximity is an advantage that has not been taken advantage of enough but you also need an efficient market — exchange, safety, security, capital market that needs to work,” Visal Leng, GE’s Asia Pacific president for oil and gas, said.

He also added that there is competition in the LNG space since the neighboring countries are also looking to develop their own markets in the region.

This project could also become the center for LNG trading in Southeast Asia.

“The Philippines already failed in aviation becoming a hub despite our geographical advantage and location, and in maritime. So this would probably an opportunity. It’s a dream,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.