THE Philippine government wants the Malampaya consortium to bid out the excess gas from its natural gas field this year, it was learned on Monday.
Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug said that his department plans to confirm if there is an additional gas supply from the Malampaya field that can be sold to potential buyers.
“If they won’t [sell it] . . . we will compel them. They are our service contractors,” he said.
The country’s largest natural gas field to date, the Malampaya is run by the consortium of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. and Chevron Malampaya LLC, with each having a 45-percent stake; and the state-controlled Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp., which has the remaining 10-percent interest.
The group currently sells its output to the First Gen Corp.’s Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo, as well as the Korea Electric Power Corp.’s (Kepco) Ilijan power facilities in Batangas province.
The field, however, is projected to hold enough reserves to generate 3,000 megawatts of power for 25 years since it started commercial operations in 2001.
State-owned National Power Corp., First Gen and Kepco earlier expressed interest in Malamapaya’s excess capacity to fuel their respective power projects.
Investors keen on developing alternative fuels for the transport sector had also eyed Malamapaya’s gas for their supply.
The government, on the other hand, is pushing for the development of the country’s natural gas infrastructures to allow both the power and transport sector to benefit from alternative fuel.
The Malampaya consortium, however, has yet to indicate if it would be selling its extra reserves.
“Our advice to them is to do a public bidding or a negotiated sale with full transparency,” Layug said.