Dennis Uy aims for control of Malampaya via 3-way clash

Power Phil 03

The Udenna Group of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy wants total control of the Malampaya natural gas project by acquiring Shell’s 45% stake, bringing him into a three-way clash with the MVP Group of Manny V. Pangilinan and San Miguel Corporation of Ramon Ang.

In a recent statement, Udenna spokesman Raymond Zorilla said that the company is partnering with state-owned PNOC Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) for the purchase of Shell’s stake in Malampaya, which was described as a high-quality asset that is key to the country’s energy security.

Udenna had already completed the purchase of the other 45% of Malampaya, previously held by Chevron, last March. PNOC-EC, a subsidiary of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), holds the remaining 10%.

Shell has expressed its intent to sell its 45% interest as part of its rationalisation program, which aims at making its business in the country more resilient in the long-term.

Malampaya’s natural gas, which Shell discovered in the 1990s, provides for a fifth of the country’s electricity demands.

Should Shell consider other players for the sale, Udenna said it would rely on its rights as part of the Malampaya consortium, such as its consent and pre-emptive rights.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who also serves as PNOC chairman, said they will study Udenna’s proposal.

Both the MVP Group and Udenna recently submitted to the Department of Energy exploration bids for different areas of the Recto Bank, which like Malampaya are in the West Philippine Sea off the coast of Palawan.