Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said that Udenna Corporation of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy must prove its technical expertise to be able to manage and operate the Malampaya gas-to-power project should it have full control of the facility.
Gatchalian pointed out that Udenna doesn’t have any capability as of the moment, but doesn’t mean it can’t acquire or develop the resources needed.
Udenna currently holds a 45% stake in Malampaya after buying it from Chevron last March. Uy’s holding firm is facing a three-way showdown with the MVP Group of Manny Pangilinan and San Miguel Corporation of Ramon Ang for the other 45%, which Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. is offloading.
The good news for Uy is that Udenna, as the majority shareholder, has the right to purchase more shares before they are made available to other firms.
Udenna has courted state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to join its bid to buy Shell’s 45% stake. PNOC currently owns ten percent of Malampaya.
The senator stressed, however, that government doesn’t have the funds to buy Shell’s stake nor to run the offshore facility alone.