DOE begins reviewing Dennis Uy’s Malampaya purchase

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The Department of Energy (DOE) said it is currently reviewing Dennis Uy-led Udenna Group’s purchase of Shell’s 45% stake in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

In an interview on the ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi said that the DOE is particularly reviewing if Udenna is technically and financially capable of handling the gas platform.

“It’s in process actually right now, so we have no decision on that yet,” Cusi said referring to his department’s review.

Udenna announced in May that it bought SPEX from Shell, which announced its intention to sell its stake in September 2020.

Assuming the DOE confirms Udenna’s latest purchase worth $460 million, the Uy-led firm will have control of Malampaya, as it already bought the other 45% from Chevron in March 2020. The DOE confirmed the $565 million Chevron-Udenna transaction in mid-April this year. Before the May purchase, Udenna repeatedly said that it would exercise its right of first refusal as the owner of the 45% it got from Chevron.

“As far as the government is concerned, it’s not yet [final] until [they] comply with the requirement of the government,” Cusi added.

Udenna has reportedly tapped four foreign banks to finance its purchase of SPEX.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, has called for a probe into Shell’s Malampaya divestment.