PNOC, US firm partner to explore LNG infra options

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State-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and United States-based energy firm New Fortress Energy LLC have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to identify potential opportunities in advancing the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure in the country.

Department of Energy (DOE) said PNOC president and chief executive officer Reuben Lista and New Fortress Energy chairman and chief executive officer Wes Edens signed the MOU Wesday, witnessed by DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

“We welcome this recent development in the light of our intensified efforts to ensure the country’s energy security with the expected depletion of Malampaya, and as part of our initial steps towards attaining our vision of establishing the Philippines as a regional LNG hub in Southeast Asia. We hope this partnership would bear fruit that would redound to the advantage of our people,” Cusi said.

PNOC has undertaken competitive selection a partner for the LNG terminal project, since 2018 to encourage the private sector to invest in LNG infrastructure and value chain in the country.

Lista said the US energy firm can help PNOC to bridge  gaps in the local LNG value chain and help the country achieve its vision to be an LNG hub in Southeast Asia.

Edens, for his part, said the accord will enable a cleaner, more affordable and reliable energy for Filipinos.

“Increasing access to power across the islands at a rapid pace will create significant growth opportunities. We look forward to working closely with our partners at PNOC and the government to bring more reliable power and help accelerate the clean energy transition,” Edens added.

Cusi said the DOE has issued notices to four out of five companies to proceed with the proposed LNG terminals in the country, to attract more investments in the LNG industry as the service contract of the Malampaya gas field will expire in 2024.

Cusi assured, however, that reserves in Malampaya will go beyond 2024.

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