TINUKOY ni Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ang mahalagang papel ng liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal facility ng Tokyo Gas at ng Lopez-owned First Gen sa paglipat ng bansa mula sa fossil fuels tungo sa green energy.
Sa isang pulong sa Tokyo na dinaluhan nina Tokyo Gas president at CEO Takashi Uchida at First Gen chairman at CEO Federico “Piki” Lopez, binigyang-pansin ni Marcos kung paano nagpasya ang Japanese energy giant na mamuhunan sa Pilipinas.
“Even before it was decided that LNG would create this large role in our energy mix because we are very much talking about the mix between renewables and traditional at the time,” pahayag ni Marcos.
“But now we are here now and certainly that is the most critical part of our plans for the future,” ayon pa sa Pangulo.
Inaasahang sisimulan ng First Gen ang komersyal na operasyon ng LNG terminal nito sa Batangas sa Hunyo o apat at kalahating taon mula nang gumawa ang Lopez firm ng 80-20 partnership sa Tokyo Gas.
Ang Malampaya gas field ay inaasahang mauubos sa loob ng tatlong taon at nagmamadaling magtayo ng mas maraming utility para mahawakan ang inaasahang pagtaas ng importasyon ng LNG.
“We are encouraged that if in the view of Tokyo Gas that it is worth the investment, then we feel that we are going down the right path for our country’s energy mix and we are grateful for that vote of confidence that you have shown by your investment in the future of the Philippine economy, the future especially of our energy supply from liquefied natural gas,” ayon pa kay Marcos.
Sinabi ni Marcos na umaasa ang bansa sa LNG bilang isang transition fuel dahil aabutin pa ng anim hanggang pitong taon para makuha ang benepisyo ng solar at wind power na kasalukuyang ginagawa.
“What do we do in the meantime? We are examining the possibility of taking more traditional wind and solar power, geothermal, all of these. But it will take time to come into play because the infrastructure has to be put in place. That’s why we are doing all we can to find ways to further– to encourage extraction of LNG,” dagdag pa ng Punong Ehekutibo.
Ang iba pang opisyal na dumalo sa courtesy call ni Marcos kasama ang Tokyo Gas executive ay sina Speaker Martin Romualdez, dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senate President Migz Zubiri, Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo at Presidential Adviser on Investments at bilyonaryo Frederick Go. (TJ DELOS REYES)