LNG terminal in Batangas in ‘final stages,’ ready by yearend, says Tokyo Gas

A LIQUEFIED natural gas (LNG) terminal constructed south of the capital region is in the “final stages” of completion and is expected to operate at the end of the year, a senior official of gas utility company Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. said on Tuesday.

“Construction is currently in the final stages, and we are aiming to start operations in the fourth quarter of this year,” Michiaki Hirose, senior corporate advisor of Tokyo Gas, said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tokyo Gas partnered with Philippine-listed energy firm First Gen Corp. in 2020 to develop a floating receiving terminal for imported LNG in Batangas.

“The challenge to achieve carbon neutrality is a significant trial for Japan, as a country with limited energy resources and is losing its industrial competitiveness,” he said.

“Both countries (Philippines and Japan) also face common challenges in the energy sector,” Mr. Hirose added. “Therefore, we are looking forward to the possibility of enhanced cooperation as strategic partners.”

He noted Tokyo Gas could help the Philippines achieve its decarbonization targets through synthetic methane, which recycles carbon dioxide and is combined with hydrogen, and through floating offshore wind power.

The government aims to increase the share of renewable sources in the country’s energy mix by 35% and 50% in 2030 and 2040, respectively.

The Philippines would need to invest $62 billion in its energy industry by 2040 to fast-track its decarbonization plan, according to the World Bank.

PCCI President George T. Barcelon said investments in LNG and other renewables would help the Philippines meet the goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as prescribed by the 2016 Paris Agreement.

“Having more clean and competitive energy would allow us to attract more foreign investments,” Mr. Barcelon told reporters after the MoU signing.

The MoU seeks to strengthen economic cooperation between Philippine and Japanese businesses. “This dialogue is an opportunity for us to share ideas, insights, and best practices,” Mr. Barcelon said.

He added that the MoU is the Japanese chamber’s first with the PCCI, which is said to be the largest business organization in the Philippines.

“This is an opening for us to look into some of the many sectors that would benefit us,” he said, adding that he is hoping the signing would strengthen deals in the agriculture, livestock, innovations and engineering sectors. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

Neil Banzuelo

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