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Senator Gatchalian calls on DOE to find Malampaya replacement

Senator Win Gatchalian listens intently to Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi during a recent Senate Committee on Energy hearing. Malampaya supplies almost half of Luzon’s energy needs and would be depleted by 2030. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Win Gatchalian called on the Department of Energy to fast-track the development of new indigenous energy sources to ensure stability in the country’s long-term energy supply given the inevitable closure of the Malampaya gas facility.

The Malampaya gas facility, which is presently the only source of fuel for Philippine natural gas plants, is set to close when its service contract expires in 2024.

Gatchalian noted that even if the government decides to extend the life of the Malampaya contract, the gas field is projected to be completely depleted by 2030.

“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,” said Gatchalian.

In further stressing the urgency of the situation, Gatchalian pointed out that Malampaya is presently responsible for approximately 2,700 MW of installed energy generating capacity.

“Unless we find new indigenous natural gas deposits or develop the capacity to import and process natural gas, we stand to lose a tremendous amount of energy generation capacity. The failure to find viable alternatives to Malampaya will compromise our energy supply stability in the coming decades,” said Gatchalian.