• SMC to bid for Malampaya’s ‘banked gas’

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    DIVERSIFIED conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is keen on buying unused natural gas, called banked gas, from the Malampaya deep water-to-gas power project.

    SMC president and chief operating officer (COO) Ramon S. Ang said the company will bid for the stockpile of natural gas.

    The gas volume entitlements under Service Contract 38 have been opened to bidding by the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) and Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the consortium which operate the Malampaya gas platform in offshore Palawan.

    “Yes we are interested in banked gas and we will participate in the bidding,” Ang told reporters.

    During the pre-qualification conference last April 16, more than 10 foreign and local companies expressed interest to bid for the banked gas, including US-led AES Philippines Corp., Japan’s Marubeni Corp., and local firms Vires Energy Corp., the Lopez Group’s First Gas Power Corp., AboitizPower Corp. and San Miguel Corp.

    The deadline for bid submissions is yet to be set, as PNOC-EC and SPEX last week tackled investor-related concerns.

    Interested parties were asked to file an expression of interest and the required documents. The notice to pre-qualified bidders and qualified buyers will be sent on June 3.

    The winning bidder will be announced in November.

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

    Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada said the quantity of banked gas available is up to 227.995 petajoules and average daily quantity of up to 78.1 terajoules per day.

    One petajoule is equivalent to 277,777,777.77 kilowatt hours, while one terajoule is equivalent to 0.001 petajoule.

    Banked gas is available for delivery as early as January 1, 2016 up to February 23, 2024, Monsada said.

    Ang reiterated he is determined to take control of the Malampaya gas project, keeping an eye on 2014 when the contract for its current operator ends.

    He urged government to bid out the natural gas project once the contract with the consortium expires.

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