Energy Sector Development Office (GDSE) Director Arnaldo Santos said Monday that natural gas is now being used by a public housing estate in Coloane and the University of Macau campus in Hengqin Island and that the government is still negotiating with the city’s natural gas provider Sinosky Energy on a “reasonable” price of the commodity.
However, the city’s energy sector chief also pointed out that natural gas is not the main fuel used to generate the city’s electricity as most of it is imported from the mainland to maintain a stable supply.
Santos made the remarks during a Q & A session of the legislature in its hemicycle on the government’s work.
During the five-hour session, including a 15-minute break, lawmakers raised a string of hot-button issues such as natural gas, housing and the development of land reclamation Zone A.
Several lawmakers raised questions about the import of natural gas, namely how to agree on a “reasonable” price and how to ensure a stable supply of electricity.
Responding to lawmakers’ questions, Santos said that since last year households in the Seac Pai Van public housing estate in Coloane such as Lok Kuan Building and the new Hengqin campus of the University of Macau have been using natural gas. About 20 public buses are running on natural gas too.
“In May the city’s electricity provider CEM started an experimental programme by using natural gas imported from the Liwan natural gas field to generate electricity in the Coloane power station,” he said, adding that as there has been a large price fluctuation of natural gas since 2008 and also greater demand globally, the price of the commodity has been rising constantly.
He quoted a statement from the company saying that the price of natural gas is now double it was in 2007.
“Therefore, the government will continue to discuss the price of natural gas with the company so that residents can receive a stable supply of energy at a reasonable price,” he said, adding that the price is still the main sticking point to the provision of a stable supply of natural gas, an issue that needed to be tackled.