Binay bats for measures to increase natural gas supplies-A A +A
Thursday, March 13, 2014
VICE President Jejomar Binay urged both the executive and legislative branches of the government to "contemplate additional measures to make the Philippines an even more attractive place for gas investors."
Binay warned that power rates may again spike if a new gas reservoir does not replace the existing Malampaya natural gas reserve soon.
"We only have one Malampaya that already supplies at least 40 percent of electricity requirements of Luzon. If a new gas reservoir or LNG (liquefied natural gas) does not replace Malampaya soon, we may yet suffer again what we experienced in November 2013," Binay said.
The Vice President was referring to the sharp increase in electricity rates when the Malampaya plant shut down in November last year.
Binay said government should review decades old laws such as Presidential Decree No. 87 and the Department of Energy (DOE) Circular on Natural Gas to make them more in sync with modern times.
Binay said the government should focus its energy policies toward further development of the natural gas industry in the country.
"Mainstreaming natural gas and LNG (liquefied natural gas) should form bulk of our developmental energy program," Binay said.
Natural gas utilization must still be on the forefront, he added.
"Issues like technological maturity, economic efficiency, reliability of supply, adequacy of investments, and availability of support structures must be confronted with our absolute commitment," he said.
Natural gas, Binay said, should be considered as a fuel source because it produces much less carbon emission than coal, bunker fuel, or diesel.
"Gas-fired power stations are also cheaper and easier to build than nuclear," he added.
Binay further said that natural gas is generally accepted in Europe as a transition fuel and as a reliable and lower-carbon back-up source to ensure a continuous power supply when the conditions are not right for renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity. (Jun M. Sarmiento/Sunnex)