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Malampaya project remitted $13B to gov’t since inception — Prime Infra

Razon-led Malampaya facility operator Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. said Wednesday that the gas field has remitted $13 billion to the national government since its inception over two decades ago.

The Service Contract (SC) 38 or the Malampaya project began operations in 2001.

“The SC 38 has generated and remitted to the Philippine government some $13 billion since its inception,” Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. (Prime Infra) president and CEO Guillaume Lucci said in a statement.

The Malampaya gas field is operated through SC 38 granted to the consortium of Prime Energy Resources Development B.V. (Prime Energy)—a subsidiary of Prime Infra— Dennis Uy-led UC38LLC and state-run firm Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC).

The consortium's license for the project is set to expire in 2024.

Prime Infra has expressed intent to seek an extension of the consortium’s license.

Lucci said the consortium remains committed to ensuring gas supply from the depleting Malampaya gas field. 

“Our drop-dead day to produce new gas or new wells is the first quarter of 2026, and we hope we can actually accelerate that as much as possible while doing it safely and reliably,” he said. 

“We’re here to stay, we’re here to invest, we’re here to dramatically increase gas production with the extended term of the service contract and resources available, and, more importantly, we are trying to make sure we produce at the least cost to consumers,” he added.

The Malampaya project is one of the country's most important power assets, as it produces natural gas for power plants in Batangas City that account for around 20% of the Philippines' total electricity requirements. 

Michael Sinocruz, Department of Energy (DOE) Director for Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, said that the review of the license extension is ongoing. 

“We are reviewing it for final approval,” said Sinocruz. 

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla earlier acknowledged that the ongoing review is crucial to the country’s energy security as the “present Malampaya-Camago field is a finite one.”

“The objective really is to produce gas, and ensure we have the [lowest] cost of gas in the country. We have a deep obligation to ensure that,” Lucci said.

Prime Infra's investment in the expansion of Malampaya operations is seen as critical in providing the necessary infrastructure that would support the development of natural gas in the area, one of the key points defined in the administration’s energy agenda.

The Malampaya asset is a significant addition to Prime Infra’s growing energy portfolio as it reduces the country's reliance on imported fuel and helps drive economic productivity and industrial growth. — VBL, GMA Integrated News