DOE pushes LNG imports, power reserve

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing for the establishment of power reserve market in the country as well as the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said on Tuesday that the department is in the process of exploring possibilities on LNG importation. At the same time, he said that the department may finally come up with something regarding the delayed establishment of a power reserve market in the country.

In an interview with reporters on the sidelines of “Platts Forum on Oil, Coal and Biofuels,” Petilla said that there is frequency imbalance in the country’s grid, because there are not enough power reserves.

“That’s why we’re also pushing for reserve market because there’s energy right now that you cannot contract. In a sense, you cannot contract them on a long-term basis. Tapos may problema sila sa contracting [And then they’ll have problems with issuance of contracts] because not all of them are available. But they’re actually available but on a short-term period,” Petilla said.


He specified that the DOE is currently working with the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) in trying to come up with a power reserve market within this year.

The deadline set by the department for energy reserve market has been delayed by more than a year.

A previous report cited that former energy secretary Rene Almendras said that before that, the agency will focus first on open access before determining the calibration of the reserve market.

Almendras then mentioned that the department had asked PEMC to conduct a study on the interaction of solar against other technology options available in the power system.

During the same forum, Petilla also mentioned in his speech that the DOE is currently “exploring the importation of LNG and the development of more LNG sources in this country.”

“We are exploring the possibilities of developing more LNG resources, because we recognize the fact that home-grown resources also bring solution to our energy consumption and needs,” he said.

He said that the Malampaya gas project in Palawan provides about 40 percent to 45 percent requirements of key power plants in Luzon. However, the project is expected to run out of gas by 2020.

“By 2013, the three energy sources will still have a big share in our energy mix with natural gas having a much bigger percentage hopefully. This outlook illustrates the behavior as well as our policy-making skills, which will be put to test in this present time,” he said, adding that the DOE is now in the process of updating the LNG master plan that will be finished before the end of the year.

“This is the right time for LNG. Good timing as far as incentives are concern, that is why we plan to come up and release an updated master plan,” he added.

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