8 December 2022 – The Department of Energy (DOE) paid a visit to the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project (Malampaya) Shallow Water Platform today to perform an assessment of its condition and ensure continued operations and sustainability in light of the current power undersupply the country is facing.
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 has 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.
Prime Infra President and CEO Guillaume Lucci said, “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.”
In keeping up with the company’s purpose to make better lives and resilient economies through critical infrastructure, 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.
DOE Secretary Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla; Philippine National Oil Co. Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) acting President and CEO Franz Josef George “Chicoy” Alvarez; DOE Undersecretary Alessandro O. Sales; and Legal Counsel to the DOE Secretary Atty. Teodulo Antonio G. San Juan joined the Prime Infra group including Prime Energy General Manager Sebastian Quiniones, Prime Infra Director Steven Paradies, and Lucci during the visit to the shallow water platform today.
The Malampaya project prides itself in hiring an all-Filipino team sourced from all over the country to perform the various tasks needed to ensure the platform runs efficiently. During the visit, the staff on duty were able to interact with Lotilla in the facility’s control room. Quinones said, “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.”
Secretary Lotilla said during the visit, “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.”
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 US$B12 or over PHP 1 trillion. Since 2001, Malampaya continues to power up to 20% 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.
Prime Infra is well-positioned to continue the solid track record of Malampaya recognized all over the world. The company’s energy portfolio is aligned with the national government’s goal to attain energy independence and security while reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Apart from the upstream gas project, other developments in the company’s energy portfolio include renewables (solar and hydropower), sustainable aviation fuels, and a fully automated gas-fired power plant equipped with latest engines and control systems in Iraq.
About Prime Infra
Building today’s critical infrastructure for a sustainable future.
Prime Infra is Filipino businessman Enrique K. Razon Jr.’s infrastructure arm that focuses on building assets that support the most urgent sustainability priorities – energy, access to clean water, waste management, and viable critical infrastructure.
With sustainability at the core of the business and projects carried out by a fast and lean management process, Prime Infra helps transform countries around the world by developing economically critical and socially relevant infrastructure that people depend on today and tomorrow.
Prime Infra is committed to ensuring its investments are socially relevant so that its customers and stakeholders are able to transition to their decarbonization goals, multiply social benefits, and promote inclusive economic growth.