(EnergyAsia, June 29) — Pilipinas Shell Petroleum has opened the Philippine’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling station.


The station, located in Tabangao, Batangas comes in response to rising demand for cheaper and cleaner fuels. It also marks the first non-power use of natural gas from the country’s Malampaya gas field.


The station will initially feed a fleet of 200 CNG-powered public utility buses, but additional sub-stations are being planned, the Manila Bulletin reported.


The station will be supplied with natural gas produced by the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project under Manila’s Natural Gas Vehicle Programme for Public Transport (NGVPPT). The NGVPPT was launched by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2001 to enhance energy supply security in the transport sector by using natural gas as an alternative fuel.


Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pilipinas Shell and the Philippine Department of Energy (DoE) the CNG price is fixed for the first 200 buses for a period of seven years.


Shell will compress the natural gas into cylinders at the CNG station in Tabangao, Batangas. From there, the CNG will be transported by land to a subsidiary retail station along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway.


Some 70 gas powered provincial buses plying the Batangas-Manila and Manila-Batangas routes will comprise the initial fleet of buses to be served by the CNG stations. The CNG-powered buses mark the first non-power utilisation of the Malampaya natural gas.