The Asian Development Bank may consider providing a loan facility to the Philippine government to help fund the first phase of the $2.1 billion Batangas-Manila (BatMan 1) natural gas project, which will involve the construction of a 105-kilometer gas pipeline.
Pil-Bae Song, senior advisor at the ADB’s regional and sustainable development department, noted that in the Philippines, nothing has been firmed up yet as far as natural gas projects were concerned. However, the Manila-based bank has previously provided financial support to other countries like Bangladesh for their respective natural gas projects.
“We don’t normally get involved in upstream activities, which are led by the private sector. But if there’s a request from the government of the Philippines, as part of the overall country operation plan, that is another thing we may consider,” Song explained.
“I think LNG [liquefied natural gas] will be a good source of energy and I think we have to also support that kind of technological evolution to make sure that there’s sufficient energy to sustain economic growth,” Song added.
Song noted that the ADB’s energy policy has three pillars – one is providing access to electricity or “energy for all”; the second pillar is energy efficiency; and the third pillar is to make energy more sustainable and competitive through the government’s improvement and capacity development.
The Philippine government similarly believes that natural gas will be among the more feasible alternatives that will enable the country to diversify its transport fuel sources and provide sustainable energy access to more Filipinos.