The Udenna Group’s UC Malampaya Philippines Pte. Ltd. is seeking to resolve its Php27.3-billion dispute regarding capacity payments for the 1,200-megawatt Ilijan gas-fired power project in Batangas City.
The company formally raised this concern at a recent Senate hearing over the future of the Malampaya gas project, from which Ilijan draws natural gas.
Apart from the prolonged dispute between government-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation and the San Miguel group’s South Premiere Power Corporation, the Dennis Uy-led firm is also batting for a decision on the Commission on Audit’s case concerning income tax interpretations of the royalty sharing between the government and the service contractor in Malampaya. The case is pending before the Supreme Court.
Udenna, which owns 45% of Malampaya following its purchase from Chevron, also raised concerned on the banked gas currently owned and claimed by government-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), which owns ten percent of the gas project.
Belinda Racela, president of Udenna’s UC38 LLC, noted that the three issues should be given “utmost importance” if the government is really bent on addressing the country’s energy security concerns.
Udenna is among the members of the Malampaya consortium that is negotiating with the government for the extension of Service Contract 38, which expires in 2024. It is also among the three parties interested to buy the other 45% of the consortium currently owned by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the gas platform’s operator.
Racela emphasized that as non-operator, UC38 has supported its consortium partners in coming up with solutions, so Malampaya can continue clean and reliable energy to Filipinos. She also pointed out that UC38, like SPEX, is composed of an all-Filipino team that is highly qualified and technically experienced in the oil and gas industry.
Senate energy committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian had earlier said that Udenna must prove that it is technically capable to run Malampaya, the country’s only indigenous source of natural gas.
Photo from SMC Global Power website.