THE Department of Energy (DOE) and the Philippine National Oil Co. Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) recently visited the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project (Malampaya) Shallow Water Platform to assess its condition and ensure continued operations and sustainability.
DOE Secretary Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla led PNOC-EC acting President Franz Josef George Alvarez; DOE Undersecretary Alessandro O. Sales; and Legal Counsel to the DOE Secretary Atty. Teo-dulo Antonio G. San Juan joined Prime Energy General Manager Sebastian Quiniones, Prime Infra Director Steven Paradies, and Prime Infra President Guillaume Lucci during the visit to the shallow water platform.
“I am happy to have visited the Malampaya platform and to have met personally the all-Filipino professional team that has maintained the facility in good condition for the benefit of a generation of Filipinos. I look forward to the facility’s serving future generations of Filipinos,” said Lotilla.
This effort was spearheaded by Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. (Prime Infra) on behalf of the consortium and in partnership with the DOE as the new operator of Malampaya. Prime Infra recently completed its acquisition of the 45-percent operating stake in Malampaya through one of its subsidiaries, Prime Energy. Since November 1, 2022, Prime Infra has assumed full ownership and control of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) after a successful transition process for a safe and seamless handover of operations. This move marks the initial foray of Prime Infra Chairman Enrique K. Razon Jr’.s infrastructure arm into the upstream energy market.
“The Malampaya project signaled the birth of the Philippine natural gas industry. It has not only become a symbol of the country’s journey towards energy self-sufficiency, but it has also become a symbol of national pride. Given the urgency to sustain the operations of Malampaya at a time of great energy insecurity, this visit by the DOE officials with the Prime Infra Group to the shallow water platform is timely and necessary,” Lucci said.
Prime Infra has committed to deliver outstanding operational performance and further the potential of SC38 covering the Malampaya project to ensure the continuity of gas production as long as the reserves can accommodate it.
“We are at a critical time right now in our country’s energy transition. We aim to contribute by doing all that can be done to generate as much power as possible to keep up with the energy demands in Luzon. The most important thing to do for the company right now is to sustain and expand gas production while we address the license extension for SC38,” Lucci added.
Located some 50 kilometers offshore from Palawan, the shallow water platform is the part of the facility that processes the gas that will subsequently be exported through a 504-kilometer underwater pipeline. During the assessment, the DOE officials went around the facility to check its condition together with the Prime Infra officials.
As one of the country’s most important power assets, the Malampaya project harnessed indigenous natural gas to reduce oil imports, contribute to better air quality, and generate significant revenues for the local government amounting to $12 billion or over P1 trillion. Since 2001, Malampaya continues to power up to 20 percent of Luzon’s total electricity requirements. All these legacy and contributions make it one of the country’s most successful Public-Private Partnerships. The consortium’s license for the project is set to expire in 2024.