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Philippine Daily Inquirer: Shell to start selling CNG

Abigail L. Ho
Published: Aug 14, 2007

AFTER YEARS OF DELAY, THE Shell group of companies in the Philippines will finally start selling compressed natural gas (CNG) by the end of next month.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said in an interview that Shell country chair Edgar Chua himself had made a firm commitment to start selling CNG to buses plying the Batangas-Manila route next month with the operation of refilling stations.

We spoke on the phone and thats what he told me. We also discussed the details of the station to be set up in Binan, Laguna, he said.

The main Shell CNG station is in Tabangao, Batangas, while a smaller station will be built on the South Luzon Expressway in Binan.

The proposed locations for other stations are Clark in Pampanga and Rosario in Cavite.

Reyes said that once operational, these CNG refilling stations would provide bus operators owning CNG-fed buses with fuel that is almost 60 percent cheaper than diesel.

The operation of Shells CNG refilling stations is part of the governments Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT), a seven-year pilot program that will peg the price of CNG at P14.52 a liter, less than half the price of diesel, for participating bus operators.

The Department of Energy expects 200 CNG-fed buses to be delivered to the country, 185 of which have already been allotted to accredited bus firms.

These accredited bus operators include HM Transport Inc. with 80 units, KL Transport with 40 units, RRCG Transport and Pascual Liner Inc. with 20 units each, Greenstar Express Inc. and CNG Vehicles Corp. with 10 units each, and BBL Transport System Inc. with five units.

The start of the NGVPPT, Reyes said, will spur the use of natural gas beyond power generation.

The Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power project in offshore Palawan currently supplies fuel to three gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 2,700 megawatts.

The increased use of alternative transport fuels such as CNG will help ease the countrys dependence on imported fuels, as the transport sector currently accounts for around 56 percent of the countrys total oil requirements.

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