Japan study expected to jump-start natural gas industry
The Department of Energy (DoE) is set to receive within the week the preliminary results of a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which would be used to formulate a master plan for the development of natural gas resources in the Philippines.
The government said the JICA study could finally jump-start the country’s natural gas industry.
Already, foreign companies from Australia, Italy, China, Korea and Hong Kong have expressed their investment interests.
The government is hoping that the preliminary report from JICA would contain a validation of the supply and demand statistics, which could spell out the viability of the natural gas program, Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. explained.
“Part of what JICA did was, they went to the different industrial zones and asked them what is the potential for natural gas use in their areas—so that’s one,” Layug said on the sidelines of the Shell Media Dialogue last Monday. “Of course, what we need to see is the validation of the view of the DoE on demand growth for electricity.”
The JICA study, in which World Bank has also collaborated, is expected to reevaluate opportunities in the natural gas industry and identify which infrastructure will be considered priority projects, and what kind of investments will be needed. It will also evaluate the viability of importing natural gas and the potential sources.
Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras had stressed the need to develop alternative fuel resources, such as natural gas, given the global oil price volatility, to which the Philippines is highly vulnerable as it sources most of its fuel requirements abroad.