Udenna eyes partnering with PNOC to buy Shell's stake in Malampaya

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2020 02:50 PM

MANILA - The Udenna Group said Monday it would work with a state-backed company to buy Shell's 45 percent stake in the Malampaya SC 38 deepwater gas-to-power project. 

The Dennis Uy-owned Udenna already has a 45 percent interest in Malampaya SC 38 after completing its acquisition of Chevron Malampaya last March. The government-owned Philippine National Oil Exploration Corp (PNOC-EC) controls the remaining 10 percent.

In a statement, Udenna said it would work with consortium partner PNOC-EC to ensure Malampaya's continued operations after Shell Philippines Exploration BV disclosed its plans to sell its shares.

The transfer of Shell's interest needs to be resolved soonest with the remaining consortium parters "as the logical choice" to acquire its stake to ensure safe and reliable operations, Udenna Group spokesperson Raymond Zorilla said in a statement.

“We are keen to pursue this vision even with Shell’s exit, and that we, together with PNOC-EC, are the most suitable party to assume Shell’s interest. We will exercise this right as provided in our joint venture agreement,” Zorilla said.

Shell Philippines Exploration BV earlier said it was exploring options to sell its SC 38 Malampaya stake as part of an "ongoing portfolio rationalization."

Zorilla said the Udenna group believes that Shell's exit from the gas field project would "in no way impact operations."

Malampaya supplies several power plants in Luzon, with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts representing 30 percent of the island's capacity.

The Davao-based Uy has been on an acquisition spree since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power. 

His DITO Telecommunity, which is backed by China Telecom, is also poised to challenge PLDT and Globe in the telco arena.