The Department of Energy (DOE) has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for them to collaborate on the formulation of propounded Philippine National Standards (PNS) for the country’s natural gas industry.
Based on the pact sealed by the two agencies, the standards shall cover product types as well as the facilities that shall be installed across the supply chain and then the code of safety practices that shall be instituted in the entire gas sector.
“The fruits of this partnership, to be realized by the DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau and the DTI-Bureau of Product Standards, would better guide our stakeholders on the power requirements and processes,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.
He noted that the DOE-DTI coordination on crafting the industry standards is aligned with the government’s efforts “to develop the country’s natural gas industry from its nascency in support of our energy goals.”
The ultimate aim, the energy chief emphasized, is to “boost investors’ confidence in the regulatory framework of the country,” primarily in the gas sector which is now enticing fresh round of investments to satiate future energy needs of the Philippines.
According to the DOE, a technical committee shall be created “to conduct research and consultation activities to develop acceptable natural gas industry standards,” and that body shall have memberships from concerned government agencies, the academe, industry players and other relevant stakeholders.
“The agreement is pursuant to the mandate of the DTI-BPS as the recognized national standards body tasked to develop, implement and coordinate standardization activities in the country,” the DOE stressed.
For its part, the energy department shall serve as the Public Standards Development Organization, and must take responsibility on developing standards to underpin the gas sector’s rebirth.
The domestic gas sector is currently at its transformative phase, with targets of business model shift to importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), because the existing source from the Malampaya field is already facing depletion.
As cast by industry players, the likely take-off of the regenerated gas sector will be next year when imported LNG will start flowing into the country, primarily for applications in the power generation sector.
Over the medium- to long-term though, the DOE is anticipating that the use of gas will expand to other markets, including industrial users, transport as well as residential consumers, hence, the crafting of standards will be highly critical through the ambit of the gas sector’s metamorphosis.
The DOE has already granted permits to several investors to set up their proposed LNG import facilities, to cater to the fuel needs not just of the existing gas-fired plants in the country but also for greenfield power projects as well as for wider utilization of gas in the country.