Supply to Malampaya plants cut ahead of gas field’s shutdown


Three weeks before the Malampaya gas field’s scheduled maintenance shutdown, the Service Contract (SC) 38 Malampaya consortium cut its supply to its five dependent power plants in Batangas City.

Both First Gen Corporation and KEPCO Ilijan Corporation (KEILCO) were aware of the planned suspension in production scheduled for last Saturday (September 11), a Shell official told Power Philippines.

Shell Philippines Exploration is the current operator of the Malampaya consortium. First Gen owns the Avion, San Gabriel, San Lorenzo, and Santa Rita plants, while KEILCO operates Ilijan.

First Gen also confirmed in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning that the gas supply was “fully interrupted” over the weekend.

“[As] a result, the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo plants have been operating using condensate as fuel while Avion has been using diesel. San Gabriel does not have dual-fuel capability and had to shut down because of the absence of natural gas supply from Malampaya,” First Gen said.

Regular supply is expected to slowly return to the plants beginning midday Tuesday.

“As of this morning, [the] platform is operating well and steadily building up pipeline pressure. We plan to start gas supply to Santa Rita before lunch today and increase gas supply to Ilijan by early afternoon,” the Shell official said.

“First Gen received advice this morning from SC38 that they expect to slowly start supplying gas from Malampaya to the [First Gen Clean Energy Complex] today, and we are hopeful that our plants can all return to gas-fired operation soon,” the Lopez-led firm added.

Malampaya, which supplies a fifth of the country’s electricity needs, is scheduled to undergo a maintenance shutdown from October 2-22. Several restrictions in its natural gas production have been undertaken this year alone amid its depleting supply. The gas field is projected to run out of reserves between 2022 and 2027.