UK urges long-term plan for LNG

THE British Embassy has prepared a study on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has laid out policy options that the Philippine government can assess and possibly adopt ahead of plans by a UK company to invest in the local LNG business.

“Unless the government sets the LNG policy and the strategy, it’s very difficult for a big project like that to dock,” British Ambassador Asif Ahmad told reporters on Monday night in a media gathering he hosted in his home.

“I’ve heard them talk about $2 billion. I’ve heard them talk about $5 billion. It really depends on the scale of ambition,” he said about the LNG investment being planned by Shell companies in the Philippines.

Mr. Ahmad said the policy paper’s main recommendation is for policy makers to issue an LNG strategy and “not just a hope-and-see year on year how we get a long” because the investments are sizable and long term.

“It is about supply, about capacity, about price, and it’s about staking your claim in a competitive market in the world,” he said. “Right now the market is soft but it won’t always stay that way for LNG.”

Mr. Ahmad said countries that are using the LNG market successfully, or those that are able to sign up import deals spanning 20 to 30 years, have a policy that guides the industry on the use of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel and a major source of energy.

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