Lawmaker grills GDSE over natural gas supply

Kwan Tusi Hang has demanded that the chief of the Office of the Development of the Energy Sector (GDSE), Arnaldo Santos, explain the current government policy on the use of natural gas. Lawmakers have also enquired about policies regarding the generation of electricity in Macau.
In her enquiry, Kwan Tsui Hang pointed out that it has been seven years since the government signed a concession contract with Sinosky Energy and commissioned the enterprise to seek natural gas sources, as well as importing natural gas into Macau.
However, the lawmaker said that the concessionaire still cannot provide the government with a long-term natural gas supply plan. She also claimed that the natural gas supply to local power generators has been suspended for three years.
Kwan Tusi Hang asked government representatives to clarify the official policy regarding the use of natural gas in power generation.
In reply, Arnaldo Santos claimed that the fluctuation of international natural gas prices has contributed to an inversion in prices: the import price of natural gas has become higher than the selling price from Sinosky to local energy producer Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM).
“In this situation, it is impossible for the concessionaire to sustain the supply of natural gas to electricity generators due to the price inversion,” Mr Santos explained.
He added that the government is currently negotiating with Sinosky in order to reach a long-term solution.
However, his answer did not satisfy Kwan Tusi Kang, who pointed out that the GDSE chief still failed to provide a timeframe for the negotiations with Sinosky or for the future supply of natural gas. Arnaldo Santos also did not answer questions as to whether or not Macau will continue to use natural gas to generate electricity.
A number of lawmakers then took the chance to make enquiries regarding Macau’s energy policies.
Arnaldo Santos suggested that it is less sustainable to rely on local power plants to generate electricity. It is the strengthening of regional cooperation, he claimed, that can ensure the energy security of the city.
Mr Santos stated that Macau will hereon rely on multiple sources of energy, including local natural gas and oil generation, as well as purchasing electricity supplies from the mainland. JPL

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