State-owned Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) has signed three memorandums of agreement that will allow it to take over the operation of CNG refuelling stations from Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and to reinvigorate a transport system running on compressed natural gas (CNG). According to PNOC-EC officials, a new station will be built in Batangas and existing equipment at the Mamplasan station will be replaced. A second mother station is planned for Pasay City.
The three agreements are reportedly “for the transfer to PNOC-EC of the lone set of mother and daughter CNG stations in Batangas and Laguna, which are owned by Shell; assignment of gas sales contract with Malampaya consortium from Shell to PNOC-EC; and for the agreement with bus operators.”
“We will be building our first station on two-hectares of land inside the Philippine Ports Authority compound in Batangas,” Joseph Jomar A. Castillo, PNOC-EC vice-president for business operations said after the signing ceremony.
As part of the arrangements, the Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT) pilot phase, originally set to be completed by 2007, will now be extended to 2018. Of the previously planned 200 CNG buses only 34 are currently in operation.
Based on the government’s plan, the number of buses plying major thoroughfares should apparently reach 1,000 by 2015, growing to 1,884 units by 2020.