Senate set to review Razon takeover of Malampaya field

Senate set to review Razon takeover of Malampaya field

THE SENATE is set to review the Energy department’s approval of the sale of the 45% stake of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEx) in the Malampaya deepwater project to a subsidiary of Razon-led Prime Infrastructure Capital, Inc. or Prime Infra.

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian told reporters on Friday that the Senate will have to evaluate how the Department of Energy (DoE) arrived at its decision to approve the sale.

“I will file a resolution to review the approval of the DoE,” Mr. Gatchalian said, adding that lawmakers need “to check all the aspects, all the technicalities, in the spirit of transparency.”

On Oct. 3, the DoE said that Prime Infra was found to be technically, financially, and legally qualified to be the operator of the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

The DoE said that because of its approval, SPEx will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prime Infra.

SPEx as a unit of Prime Infra will continue to operate Service Contract (SC) 38, which covers the Malampaya project located northwest of Palawan Island in the West Philippine Sea.

State-led PNOC Exploration Corp. has a 10% stake in the Malampaya gas field, with UC38 LLC holding the other 45%. Prime Infra previously said that before the DoE approval, the SC 38 consortium members had given their consent to the sale.

“We will need to review it. We need to evaluate how the DoE approved it,” Mr. Gatchalian added.

In a statement, the department said that its review showed the need to maximize the utilization of the existing petroleum resources in Malampaya.

The DoE said that Malampaya supplies up to 20% of Luzon’s total electricity requirements but the consortium’s license for the project is set to expire in 2024.

Prime Infra said that it will assume full ownership of Malampaya on Nov. 1, after the transition process for the handover of SPEx’s operation is completed. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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