Malampaya gas-to-power project fuels five power plants in Luzon with a capacity of 3,200 megawatts

UDENNA CORP. said on Wednesday that its unit had completed the acquisition of Chevron Malampaya LLC’s 45% stake in the Malampaya gas-to-power project located offshore of northwest Palawan.

“We see immense potential in natural gas, the fuel of the future, and we are optimistic and excited to bring its full benefits to Filipinos,” Udenna Chairman Dennis A. Uy said in a statement.

The completed deal comes months after Udenna announced in November last year that its subsidiary UC Malampaya Philippines Pte Ltd. had signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire Chevron’s stake in the deepwater project, the country’s only source of natural gas in large commercial quantity.

The Malampaya field supplies five power plants in Luzon, serving 30% of the national demand for electricity with a capacity of 3,200 megawatts.

UC Malampaya is joining Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., which also has a 45% stake, and state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), which owns the remaining 10%, in developing the almost two-decades-old Malampaya project under the Department of Energy (DoE)-awarded Service Contract 38.

“We look forward to working with our joint venture partners, Shell and PNOC-EC, and Malampaya’s key stakeholders, including the Philippine [DoE], to ensure that Malampaya continues to play an important role in developing a sustainable clean energy business in the Philippines,” Mr. Uy said.

Udenna’s statement could mean that PNOC-EC did not exercise its right to acquire 10% of the shares sold by Chevron.

In December last year, DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told reporters that PNOC-EC was exercising its right “because we feel that the acquisition price is very advantageous for [the company] to invest.”

Mr. Cusi chairs the board of PNOC-EC.

Sources at the DoE, Shell Philippines and PNOC either declined or did not respond when asked to validate whether PNOC-EC did not exercise its right.

The deal between Udenna unit UC Malampaya and the unit of Chevron Philippines, Ltd. to buy the full stake of the consortium partner was signed on Oct. 25, 2019. The parties did not disclose the value of the acquired stake.

Udenna holds Mr. Uy’s interest in diversified businesses, including distribution and retail of finished petroleum products, shipping and logistics.

The Davao City businessman’s portfolio has expanded to property development, education, food, gaming, tourism, and infrastructure. — Adam J. Ang