The Philippine government has received “great interests” from five countries that want to be involved in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
“Japan, China, Russia, Korea and including Indonesia—these are countries that have shown great interest in the project,” Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said on Wednesday after the agency’s “E-Power Mo” Energy Consumers and Stakeholders conference in Manila.
The five countries are among the 26 groups included in the list of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), which earlier received unsolicited proposals for a plan to build a LNG facility. The PNOC was supposed to come up with a shortlist in end-June.
“They have shown great interest, but it doesn’t mean we have shortlisted. But we are evaluating all proposals. We can’t say it will all be a government-to-government undertaking. It will depend on their roles, what capacity they are going to play because this project is a bit complex. It depends who can give the best solution,” Cusi added.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and PNOC will meet on Friday to thoroughly discuss the proposals of these five countries. “We will meet on Friday…so we can evaluate them,” said the DOE chief said.
The DOE is sticking to its 2018 target to launch the LNG project. “We want to complete it within the term of President Duterte,” Cusi said.
PNOC has been vocal in saying that it will build an LNG terminal and is open to partnering with the private sector.
Last month Cusi said he wants the Philippines to become Southeast Asia’s LNG hub.
“We are determining if the Philippines can be the hub for LNG. We missed being the hub for aviation, the hub for maritime. Maybe, we can become the hub for LNG in Southeast Asia,” he said.
LNG is natural gas that has been converted into a liquid state for easier storage and transportation. Upon reaching its destination, LNG is regasified so it can be distributed through pipelines as natural gas.
“The Philippines already failed in aviation becoming a hub despite our geographical advantage and location, and in maritime. So this would probably an opportunity. It’s a dream,” Cusi added.