PH to boost investment promotion for natural gas

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THE government will intensify its investment promotion efforts for natural gas projects in the country as part of a broader goal to increase the share of green energy sources in the Philippines’ energy mix.

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According to the Department of Energy (DOE), among these efforts is encouraging the expanded use of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in different parts of the country

“This is through intensified investment promotion activities in the construction and operation of strategic natural gas infrastructure projects such as pipelines and LNG terminals,” Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said.

Ayson made the statement during the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting (EMM 11) held in Beijing, China in September where the Philippines was one of the discussants. The meeting adopted the theme “Joining Hands Toward Sustainable Energy Development in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

During the session on Energy, Trade and Investment focusing on LNG, Ayson shared an update on the country’s natural gas industry and the challenges of commercializing LNG.

Issued during the meeting was the Beijing Declaration emphasizing the importance of cooperation among APEC member states in responding to the twin challenges of energy security and sustainable development.

Underlying these challenges are the use of clean energy, facilitation of energy investment and trade, and the promotion of energy efficiency.

With Asia Pacific being viewed as the emerging center of world energy demand, member economies are encouraged to strengthen mechanisms to improve interconnectivity arrangements in the region by promoting infrastructure development including trans-border oil and gas networks, power grids, LNG terminals, smart grids and distributed energy systems.

Acknowledging the emergence of LNG in the global and regional fuel mix, the ministers instructed the Energy Working Group to launch the APEC LNG Trade Facilitation Initiative. The initiative aims to encourage dialogue, develop public-private partnerships and support LNG market-based pricing mechanisms to boost the creation of robust APEC natural gas markets.

Because there is continuing use of fossil fuels in the region, member economies also reaffirmed the importance of applying highly efficient technologies in coal-fired power plants and the pursuit of scientific solutions to mitigate the environmental impacts of non-conventional oil and gas development.

The use of clean energy remains a priority among APEC member economies subscribing to the goal of “doubling the share of renewables in the APEC energy mix, including on power generation, from 2010 levels by 2030,” the Beijing Declaration states.

On energy efficiency and conservation, the ministers reaffirmed the goals set out in the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Declaration to reduce APEC’s aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2035 and committed to work together to attain this target.

On the other hand, member economies who are interested in the use of nuclear energy for power generation are encouraged to exchange experience and best practices and pursue practical cooperation in areas that include nuclear safety performance, emergency response and preparedness mechanisms.

Another highlight of EMM 11 was the launch of the APEC Sustainable Energy Center (APSEC) which will be housed at the Tianjin University in Beijing.

The EMM11 was capped by technical tours of the State Grid Corp. of China which constructs and operates power grids as its core business (one of its overseas assets is the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines); China Guodian Corp., one of the five largest integrated power generation corporations in China; and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., which is the leading company of China’s Third Generation nuclear power technology introduction, absorption and innovation.

Meanwhile, Ayson took the opportunity to invite the ministers to the 12th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting to be held in Cebu as part of the Philippines’ hosting of the APEC Summit in 2015.

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