At the workshop
On January 9, 2020, the representative office in Manila of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) hosted a workshop on the gas sector in the Philippines for the country's Senate Committee on Energy. The workshop was attended by about 10 government officials, including Senator Sherwin "Win" Ting Gatchalian, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
Amid concerns over the depletion of domestic natural gas reserves in the future, the Philippines is considering the development of receiving terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the construction of gas-fired power plants using LNG transported from the import terminals. The objectives of the workshop included: 1) confirming the economics of a gas-fired power plant and its cost competitiveness; 2) urging government officials to re-acknowledge the need for gas-fired power generation in the Philippines; and 3) determining what actions the government needs to take to implement LNG receiving terminal projects. The workshop was also intended to increase opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in the LNG business in the Philippines.
At the beginning of the workshop, a JBIC Manila representative explained a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Philippines, signed in August 2018, to strengthen strategic cooperation on infrastructure development*1, as well as projects in the country that have been financed by JBIC so far. In addition, JBIC Director General of the Oil and Gas Finance Department HAMAMATSU Masayuki gave a presentation about JBIC's recent activities in the gas sector in Asia and its policy to support the establishment of LNG gas value chains in the region.
Another presentation focused on the issue of the Philippines giving preference to coal-fired power plants constructed at lower costs amid the progress of liberalization in the power market. It was presented by a representative officer from WaterRock Energy Economics, a market and economics consultancy commissioned by JBIC to research the gas sector in the Philippines and other Asian countries. The presentation also included comparisons of the cost effectiveness of each fuel source and discussions about appropriate competitive bidding procedures. After the presentations, an open discussion session was conducted, which gave participants from the Philippines the opportunity to be actively involved in discussions about the development of a regulatory and legal framework in the gas sector in Japan. Senator Gatchalian, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, expressed his appreciation to JBIC for its support and cooperation in organizing this workshop in the Philippines.
As a public financial institution, JBIC will continue to support Japanese companies in expanding their overseas ventures while working closely with Philippine government officials.