At the Workshop
The Manila representative office of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) delivered a presentation about the status of the gas sector in the Philippines at the 10th energy committee meeting of the House of Representatives of the Philippines on February 3,2020. This presentation session was attended by about 70 people including 17 members of the House of Representatives, such as Representative Lord Allan Jay Velasco, chairman of the House Committee on Energy.
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 presentation were: (1) confirming the economic efficiency 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) what actions the government needs to take to implement LNG receiving terminal projects. The session was also intended to increase business opportunities for Japanese companies through participation in the LNG business in the Philippines. JBIC also conducted a workshop at the energy committee of the Senate of the Philippines on January 9, 2020, in which we discussed the same topic.
JBIC's Manila representative started the session by explaining a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Philippines that was signed in August 2018 to enhance strategic cooperation on infrastructure development, as well as projects in the country that have been financed by JBIC. That was followed by a presentation by ASO Kenichi, JBIC's Regional Head for Asia and Pacific, who discussed 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.
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, highlighted the problem of the Philippines giving preference to the construction of coal-fired power plants at lower costs amid the progress of liberalization in the power market. His presentation also included comparisons of the cost effectiveness of each fuel source and discussions about appropriate competitive bidding procedures.
A lively, open discussion session followed the presentations, giving energy committee members an opportunity to discuss the importance of gas and LNG as stable power supply sources in the future, clarification on how to prioritize energy sources in the energy policy and the structure of energy mix in power generation.
As a public financial institution, JBIC will continue to support Japanese companies in expanding their overseas business ventures while working closely with Philippine government officials.