Monday, October 2, 2017

PH Strikes Energy Development Initiatives from AMEM35

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced today (2 October) that the Philippine delegation conducted bilateral talks with China, Japan, Singapore, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the US-ASEAN Business Council on possible cooperation in oil exploration and natural gas industry, as well as renewable energy and emerging technologies.

The talks were an offshoot of the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM35) hosted by the Philippines, according to Secretary Cusi, who said "the Philippines is attuned with the ASEAN’s vision of being the bright spot for energy investments and development in the global arena."

Cusi revealed that the Philippines is presently finalizing policies on natural gas and may have agreements with development partners like China, Japan and Singapore after the publication of the policy which is on 30 October this year "to fully embark on viable LNG cooperation projects."

The DOE is looking at three models on how the country will develop and utilize the natural gas resource: namely, to source indigenous natural gas, like that of Malampaya; to import liquefied natural gas (LNG); and to combine both models. LNG facilities, from the upstream to the downstream shall be established following the Philippine Natural Gas Regulation. Facilities include the integrated LNG import, storage, regasification and receiving terminals, pipelines and related facilities.

Other areas of cooperation are on renewable energies with possible joint ventures with Singapore on waste-to-energy, floating solar photovoltaic and battery technologies; with the IRENA on scaling up geothermal energy and renewable energy mini-grids for rural electrification; and with US-ABC on greening the grid and RE zoning.

Sec. Cusi underscored the streamlining of regulatory procedures in the country following the implementation of the Executive Order 30 (EO No. 30), expediting the processing of energy projects of national significance.

The bilateral talks also touched on initiatives on fuel marking to avoid counterfeiting of petroleum products, benchmarking of commodities for price transparency (i.e., fuel prices), smart grids using advanced digital information communication technology, electric vehicles for lower carbon emissions, the Visayas-Mindanao interconnection project, nuclear energy utilization and the building of power generation facilities, particularly in island provinces.

Cusi stated the DOE requested Japan through its Manila embassy for a non-project grant to assist the rebuilding of Marawi's electrical infrastructures and facilities damaged or destroyed.

Cusi also said that he informed the Chinese delegation on the latest update regarding Service Contract (SC) 57, covering the area offshore Calamian northwest of Palawan.

SC 57 was awarded in 2007 to PNOC Exploration Corp. with pending farm-in agreement with Mitra Energy Ltd., and state-run China National Offshore Oil Co. as endorsed to President Rodrigo Duterte for clearance.

“The Philippine government is committed to ensure necessary assistance to all energy investors from cooperation partners, and uphold to the government commitments for the benefit of both parties, and most importantly, of the Filipino energy consumers," said Cusi.

Cusi concluded by congratulating the DOE personnel for successfully hosting the AMEM35 in Manila last Sept. 25 to 29, which paved the way for more energy cooperation with government counterparts and other development partners.

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