PNOC mulls options for sale of banked gas

State-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) is exploring several options for the government’s unused Malampaya natural gas, more commonly known as banked gas, its top official said.

PNOC president Reuben Lista said the government’s share of banked gas will still be sold but the state-run firm is looking at other options to use the fuel.

“Of course we are selling but we are also studying some options like using it for our new LNG power plants or as an equity for other joint projects for energy,” he said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced earlier the government is eyeing to build a 200-megawatt (MW) LNG plant in Batangas to provide an emergency source of power when the Luzon grid loses supply due to plant outages.

The Malampaya project, which supplies natural gas fuel to three major power plants in Luzon, is expected to be depleted by 2024.

The banked gas—which was paid by government for future use—is stored in the reservoir of the Malampaya project and is owned by PNOC.

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