MANILA, Philippines - Foods to infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has taken strong interest in owning and operating the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project, the country’s largest producing gas field, years before the facility is placed on the auction block.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the conglomerate is now eagerly awaiting for the Malampaya facility to be auctioned off by the government.
He said the facility would be the “deal of the century” should SMC successfully bags it.
“That is the bidding that I want to join. We are ready to bid if they (Department of Energy) are ready,” he said.
“Once the contract expires, all of that will be returned to the government. So that really is the biggest opportunity coming for us,” Ang said.
SMC, however, will have to wait seven more years before taking hold of what it believes to be a prized facility.
A ranking DOE official told The STAR that there are no specific discussions at present on the next steps to be undertaken after the contract of the Malampaya consortium expires by 2022.
The official, however, said Malampaya operator Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. has a pending license extension proposal to the DOE.
The gas field is currently operated by a joint venture of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., Chevron Texaco Malampaya LLC, and the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. under a 25-year contract with the government.
The Malampaya gas field currently supplies natural gas to the 1,200-megawatt (MW) Ilijan plant, the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo plants.
The gas field is located 850 meters deep offshore northwest Palawan and has a proven reserves of about 2.5 to 3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Ang said it would cost a company about $10 billion to build another Malampaya today.
Read more: ABS-CBN News
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