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DOE assesses continued operations of Malampaya

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The Department of Energy is assessing the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project shallow water platform to ensure continued operations and sustainability amid the power undersupply the country is facing.

The DOE visit to Malampaya on Dec. 8 was spearheaded by businessman Enrique Razon Jr.’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. on behalf of the consortium and in partnership with the government as the new operator of Malampaya.

“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,” Prime Infra president and chief executive Guillaume Lucci said.

“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 recently acquired a 45-percent operating stake in Malampaya through one of its subsidiaries, Prime Energy.

Prime Infra assumed full ownership and control of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. on Nov. 1, 2022, after a successful transition process for a safe and seamless handover of operations.

The move marks the initial foray of Prime Infra into the upstream energy market.

Prime Infra committed to delivering outstanding operational performance and further the potential of Service Contract 38 covering the Malampaya project to ensure the continuity of gas production as long as the reserves can accommodate it.

This is in keeping up with the company’s purpose to improve lives and resilient economies through critical infrastructure.

“We are at a critical time 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 SC 38,” Lucci said.

Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla, Philippine National Oil Co. Exploration Corporation acting president and chief executive Franz Josef George Alvarez, Energy Undersecretary Alessandro Sales and legal counsel to the secretary Teodulo Antonio San Juan joined the Prime Infra group composed of Prime Energy general manager Sebastian Quiniones, Prime Infra director Steven Paradies and Lucci.

The Malampaya staff on duty interacted with Lotilla in the facility’s control room during the visit.

“We are grateful for the opportunity given to our Filipino team members to have a brief one-on-one session with Secretary Lotilla where the secretary was able to confirm the alignment of the goals of the DOE and the Malampaya project regarding its continued operation,” Quinones said.

Lotilla lauded the Filipino team manning the Malampaya 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,” Lotilla said.

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.

The Malampaya project, one of the country’s most important power assets, harnesses 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.

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