Philippine National Oil Corp. Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) is said to be negotiating with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (Shell) regarding taking over Shell’s compressed natural gas (CNG) stations just outside Metro Manila, to ensure the smooth distribution of CNG for public transportation, reports GMA News after weekend statements by Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug.
The Government is apparently investigating the introduction of new CNG station technology from New Zealand. “The option is for us to change the technology,” Layug continued. “Over the long-term, we will also not rely on natural gas from Malampaya. We will utilize imported liquefied natural gas (to fuel CNG buses).”
Shell agreed to supply CNG for the Public Transport Pilot Project, inaugurating a mother-daughter stations in 2008 and delivering gas from the Malampaya gas field in Palawan, but objectives for the project have not been realised. The original target was to have 200 CNG buses plying the Batangas-Manila route by 2006 and 2,000 CNG buses by 2007 but today only 35 natural gas buses are operating. Layug is apparently intent on building that number to 1,000.
PNOC-EC plans include building a CNG mother-daughter station complex in Batangas to service buses plying the Batangas-Edsa route, for completion by October or November, and another daughter station at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to bring CNG closer to Metro Manila bus operators. Funding for the project is reportedly already approved by the company’s board.
The existing daughter station owned by Shell will service the Laguna-Edsa route.