MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has a potential to gene-rate over 10,000 megawatts of low carbon substitute natural gas (SNG) which could be the solution to the country’s power needs in the next decade, the chairman of the House Committee on Energy said.
Rep. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro) said that SNG can provide the Philippines the solution for its power woes and stop its dependence on imported fuel.
The so-called SNG is a gas that can be produced from fossil fuels such as lignite coal, oil shale, biofuels or renewable energy.
Umali is proposing to build a 60 MW pilot demonstration SNG plant in Mindoro and is now in talks with technical consultants as well as potential funders.
He also met with Energy officials to rally support for his plan, which he believes has the potential to address the country’s power needs.
“The use of SNG is a well-established technology. In the United States, a company called Dakota Gasification Co. has been producing SNG for years at $5 per million BTU in the US market when the price of natural gas in the Asian market hovers at around $16 to $18 per million BTU,” he said.
He said SNG can also be used as feedstock for transport fuel which will help reduce the country’s dependence on imported petroleum products while promoting a cleaner environment.
“The Philippines will be able to attract companies that use natural gas as feedstock for petrochemicals and fertilizers. The country will also be able to attract companies that produce energy intensive products such as cement, steel and gas,” Umali said.
Furthermore, Umali said SNG can also replace the Malampaya natural natural gas which is set to be depleted by 2024.
“Instead of importing, we can use SNG at around $5 per million BTU. Right away, the generation charge component of what we pay for electricity will be cut to less than a third,” he said.
And instead of importing fuel, the Philippines can even become a net exporter of SNG that will not only spur the country’s economy but also revolutionize the Philippine energy sector.
The lawmaker also proposed that the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant can be convertied to gas-fired fueled by SNG.
“We can easily convert our mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to a gas-fired power plant and increase its generation capacity from 600 MW to 1,800 MW,” Umali said.