Malampaya gas tender draws investor interest

by Riza T. Olchondra, 17 April 2015 
from Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines–The upcoming tender for the banked gas at the Malampaya gas project off Palawan has drawn interest from a multinational pool of investors.

Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) and Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), which represents the consortium operating the Malampaya gas platform, are jointly selling their respective gas volume entitlements under Service Contract 38.

More than 10 local and foreign companies attended the pre-qualification conference for the auction, expressing interest in bidding for the fuel resource.

Among them, according to organizers, were US-led AES Philippines Corp., Japanese firm Marubeni Corp., and local firms Vires Energy Corp., First Gas Power Corp. of the Lopez Group, AboitizPower Corp. and San Miguel Corp.

San Miguel president and COO Ramon S. Ang earlier expressed interest in the Malampaya gas project, urging the government to bid out the project after the current operator contract ends in 2024.

The transaction adviser is Ernst and Young.

The deadline for submission of bids has not been set as investor concerns still need to be tackled on May 18, 2015, the pre-qualification deadline by which time interested parties must submit expression of interest and required documents.

The documents to be submitted by May 18 are: the interested company’s date of establishment, corporate structure, major business lines, number of employees, countries in operation, shareholder structure including shareholder.

On June 3, 2015, the organizers will send notices to pre-qualified bidders and qualified parties.

The awarding of the deal to the winning bidder will be in November 2015.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said the tender should be completed within the year.

Those who attended had submitted letters of intent and had paid a non-refundable bid documents fee of P2 million. The date of the bidding will be set after the pre-bidding conference.

There is no floor price set for the bidding so far and whether it will be set or not would be determined after the pre-bidding conference, energy officials said.

The banked gas is set to be extracted by the end of 2015 and delivered to the winning bidder from Jan. 1, 2016, to Feb. 23, 2024.

Petilla said the total volume of banked gas to be auctioned off might be able to run a 400- megawatt power plant until 2024. By that time, the current service contract for Malampaya will end.

SPEX said its stockpile might be enough for a 150-MW power plant and that PNOC has about the same volume.

Petilla said the price of the banked gas might be benchmarked with the price of Malampaya gas during the bidding. He also said he would rather have the banked gas sold to new power plants that could help ease power supply concerns in the country.