Initiatives for energy security set

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    The Department of Energy (DOE) reported developments in various efforts that will assure stable power supply in the wake of the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

    LNG terminal

    Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said First Gen Corp. has submitted amendments to its planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply terminal in Batangas

    Cusi said in a virtual briefing over the weekend FGEN LNG Corp. changed the design of the facility from on-shore to floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) which would allow its commissioning as early as April 2022 from the original planned target of August 2022.

    Cusi said the Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) is studying if FGEN LNG will be asked to submit a new application or just allow the amendment on the new design.

    OIMB director Rino Abad said the company will have to secure six additional permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Ports Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard before the body makes any recommendations to the DOE .

    FGEN LNG last month selected three tenderers to participate in a competitive selection process (CSP) in the chartering of a FSRU: BW Gas Limited, GasLog LNG Services Ltd. and Hoegh LNG Asia Pte Ltd.

    Meralco power supply

    The DOE is not keen on allowing Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to delay to October the conduct of its planned CSP for 1,800 megawatts worth of electricity for 2025.

    Energy assistant secretary Redentor Delola said Meralco has been advised to tap other means to proceed with the procurement, adding a deferment will delay the target delivery of the power supply.

    Meralco cited the volatility and uncertainty of fuel prices due to the pandemic in seeking the deferment.

    It said a CSP at this time using artificially low fuel prices may be disadvantageous to consumers. By the time the agreement is implemented in 2025, fuel prices may have gone to normal levels.

    Nuclear power

    Following the signing of Executive Order 116, Palawan, Cagayan and Sulu have expressed interest to host nuclear power plants, according to Cusi.

    “I met with Governor (Jose) Alvarez of Palawan and he said that he is willing to host nuclear power plant. We will have to go with the usual process of public consultations and the like. Likewise, CEZA (Cagayan Economic Zone Authority) and Sulu also said that they are open for such project,” he said.

    But Cusi said only small and modular nuclear reactors are being planned for Sulu and Palawan.