Filtered By: Money

Energy advocacy group pushes for more indigenous options for PHL

A group of energy advocates banded together to push for both the government and private sector to explore more indigenous energy options for the Philippines, given the increasing demand amid massive infrastructure spending and the country’s growing population.

The Philippine Energy Independence Council (PEIC) urges energy stakeholders to develop new indigenous, renewable, and clean energy options to cater to the increasing demand and eventually achieve 100% energy independence.

PEIC was officially launched this week at the PowerTrends 2019 International Exhibition and Conference on Power, Energy, and Electricity at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

“Our council aims to be at the forefront of initiatives to continuously initiate public discourses in order to move government and private-sector decision-makers to beef up our energy reserves ... We hope that these discussions can lead to concrete steps towards the goal of energy independence,” PEIC chairman Tony La Viña said in a statement.

“The fact remains that our country needs a significant leap to explore and develop untapped natural resources in strategic locations in the country ... Energy security—the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price—should therefore be a priority issue in every policy discussion in pursuit of national development,” he said.

The Malampaya consortium of Shell Exploration BV (SPEx), Chevron Malampaya LCC, and Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corp. has filed an application to extend its service contract and continue operating the gas-to-power facility.

The facility fuels three gas-fired power plants with a total generating capacity of 2,700 megawatts (MW) to provide 30% of the power generation needs of Luzon.

Connected to an onshore gas plant in Batangas, the Malampaya offshore facility in Northern Palawan was inaugurated in 2001. Estimates showed its gas reserves will be sufficient only until 2022 to 2024.

Its service contract is set to expire in 2024, but the group has already filed an application to have this extended as there may be more nearby areas which could be explored.

“In the Philippines, the twin factors of economic and population growth have tolled heavily on the country’s energy resources,” Paulo Gavino, external relations manager of SPEx, said in the same statement on Thursday.

“And with the expected huge increase in demand for more and cleaner energy by our fast-growing economy, there is already an urgent need to create alternative energy sources that are indigenous and sustainable,” noted Gavino.

In 2017, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella cited the need to expand the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) capability to accommodate shipments from overseas.

“By 2024, the Malampaya gas field is expected to be depleted … until 2027. There is a need to expand its facilities for LNG expansion and importation, and for further exploration,” Fuentebella said at that time. —VDS, GMA News