THE government has launched a guide for foreign investors interested in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects which was developed with US assistance.

In a recent webinar, the Department of Energy (DoE) presented its guide, supported by the US State Department’s Asia-Enhancing Development and Growth Through Energy program.

The DoE hopes to attract more public-private partnerships to develop natural gas in the Philippines, on the way to making the country a hub for LNG in Southeast Asia. 

“I am confident that with the guide now readily available, more investors will take interest in our downstream LNG industry. The DoE is committed to develop the Philippines as a LNG hub that can serve not only our energy needs but also of the region,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in a statement Wednesday.

The Philippines is expected to run out of liquified natural gas (LNG) from its sole indigenous field over the next seven years, Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III said in the webinar hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Energy Association.

By then, the country will not have enough natural gas to power its industrial, commercial, residential, and transport sectors, he added.

As of August, the Philippines is on track to produce 73,388 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of natural gas this year, with consumption at 69,856 mmscf, according to the DoE.

The Philippines gets its LNG from the Malampaya Gas Power Project off Palawan. It is operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.

The gas field supplies power plants generating 3,200 megawatts of power, or 21.1% of gross power generated in 2019, Mr. Pulido said.

The US government is building energy markets across the region through USAID. One of its programs, the US-Asia Gas Partnership, is focused on natural gas.

Aside from exploring and developing locally-sourced natural gas, the Philippines is also looking into imported LNG.

The DoE has received four applications for LNG terminal projects forwarded by the Lucio Tan group with Blackstone Group’s affiliate Gen X Energy, First Gen Corp. with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., US-based Excelerate Energy, and Energy World Gas Operations Philippines, Inc. —  Adam J. Ang