Senator Win Gatchalian threw his support behind the energy department’s move to ensure the sufficiency of power supply in the country, at least in the short and medium term, by encouraging investments in the liquified natural gas (LNG) industry.
“LNG is good for the country’s national energy security now and I commend the energy department’s support for the construction of LNG terminals in a bid to ensure continuous power supply this year. Currently, we have no choice but to go with LNG given the declining output from Malampaya,” Gatchalian said, noting that the output coming from the country’s only indigenous source of natural gas has been decreasing over the past 4 years. The service contract of the Malampaya gas field is expected to expire in 2024 unless extended.
The depleting supply from Malampaya is expected to leave a huge dent in the country’s power supply as Malampaya fuels close to 25% of Luzon’s electricity requirements and close to 18% of the entire country’s power, stressed Gatchalian, adding that LNG is considered a transition fuel as economies ramp up investments for intermittent renewable energy technologies given the current prohibitive cost of energy storage.
“The establishment of LNG facilities addresses the expected shortfall in the country’s power supply at least in the near and medium terms. Certainly, this is one of the intervention projects that we desperately need to address the loss of thousands of megawatts of power,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian has filed Senate Bill 152, which provides for the National Energy Policy and Framework for the Development and Regulation of the Philippine Midstream Natural Gas Industry. The proposed measure allows private sector participation across the entire value chain, provides flexibility for the government to adapt to evolving market conditions, and ensures the protection of consumers’ interests through a framework that encourages transparency and competition.
Based on data from the Department of Energy (DOE), the generation share of natural gas in 2021 was 18,675 gigawatt hours (GWh) out of 106,115 GWh or 17.60% of total power generation in the country. As of November last year, there are 5 power plants that are fueled by natural gas from Malampaya. These are Avion with 130.8 megawatt (MW) capacity, San Gabriel with 442.9 MW, San Lorenzo with 586.5 MW, Santa Rita with 1133.9 MW, and Cebu-Land based GT with 55 MW for a total capacity of 3,732 MW.
To date, the DOE has so far approved seven LNG terminal projects undertaken by FGEN LNG Corporation, Linseed Field Corporation, Energy World Gas Operations Philippines Inc., Excelerate Energy L.P., Vires Energy Corporation, Shell Energy Philippines, Inc., and Samat LNG Corporation. The LNG terminals from FGEN LNG and Linseed are expected to provide LNG to the existing gas plants.