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MVP submits bid for SPEX stake

Philex Mining is part of the group because PXP energy and one or two others who are part of that.

Maria Romero

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The Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) group offered to acquire the 45 percent share of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) that it wanted to divest from the Malampaya natural gas field.
In a press briefing, Pangilinan disclosed his group submitted a “final non-binding offer to Shell” last Friday.

“Philex Mining is part of the group because PXP energy and one or two others are part of that. Making the offer was a group effort,” Pangilinan told reporters.

In October last year, Pangilinan announced his plan to join the toss up for the shares in the 19-year old project through PXP Energy Corp.

According to him, PXP tapped JPMorgan, which is advising Shell on the sale of shares in Malampaya.

“Well, we’re looking at (acquiring Shell’s stake)… I think our plan, assuming we’re allowed by whoever owns the Malampaya eventually, is to pipe the gas from Service Contract (SC) 72 to the natural gas facilities so they can process the fuel,” Pangilinan told reporters.

“And after processing, pipe the gas to Batangas where as of now, all of the gas plants are located. Unless of course things change because we’re so many years away from production of 72, but as of now that’s the plan,” he added.

PXP Energy, through Forum Energy Ltd., has a 70-percent participating interest in SC 72.

MVP offers redevelopment
Pangilinan, who runs the country’s largest power distributor Meralco, had proposed to redevelop Malampaya even after it runs dry but it was rejected by regulators.

Pangilinan had also made an offer on Chevron’s Malampaya stake, which was later acquired by Davao City-based Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp.

In 2019, the Department of Energy (DoE) declined PXP Energy’s unsolicited bid to develop and utilize an integrated gas hub within the natural gas field upon the expiry of SC 38 in 2024.
The DoE said the proposal was rejected because it covers an area “with an existing service contract.”

SPEx, a unit of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, last month confirmed it is looking to “rationalize” its local portfolio, starting with its 45 percent interest and operator status in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) controlled by Ramon S. Ang also expressed interest to join the Malampaya consortium.

Udenna Group also said it is tapping state-owned Philippine National Oil Exploration Corp (PNOC-EC) to takeover the facility “on a 100 percent basis” to ensure that the workforce will not be affected by the turnover of ownership.

Udenna already has a 45 percent interest in Malampaya after completing its acquisition of Chevron Malampaya last March, while government-owned PNOC-EC controls the remaining 10 percent.

The Malampaya gas-to-power facility fuels three gas-fired power plants with a total generating capacity of 2,700 megawatts. Connected to onshore gas plants in Batangas, the facility in Northern Palawan was inaugurated in 2001.

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