Midstream natgas policy pushed

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    The Philippines needs a national energy policy and framework for the development and regulation of the Philippine midstream natural gas industry.

    Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 1819 in anticipation of the expiry by 2024 of the contract of Malampaya gas field whose resources will be depleted by 2027 to 2029.

    The gas field supplies fuel topower plants with a combined capacity of more than 3,000 megawatts.

    Planning ahead. The Malampaya gas field , which runs several power plants, will be depleted by 2027 to 2029.

    “We’re racing against time. If we fail to act now, we could be experiencing anew a debilitating rotational brownout by 2024 once our power supply from the Malampaya gas field is depleted,”.

    Gatchalian said adding the bill will also address transportation, transmission, storage and marketing of natural gas in its original or liquefied natural gas (LNG) form.

    It will also cover companies that specialize in operating tanker ships or marine vessels to deliver natural gas to LNG terminals, pipelines or transmission systems and storage facilities as well as the protection of consumers via transparent and competitive pricing of services

    “The proposed Midstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act will encourage private capital and foster an open and fair competitive market while at the same time ensure safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operation of LNG terminals,” Gatchalian said.

    He added LNG terminal projects should be in place before 2024 to ensure natural-gas fired power plants will have a steady source of fuel.

    First Gen Corp. plans to build the country’s first LNG terminal to bring in LNG to the Philippines as early as the third quarter of 2022. – Jed Macapagal