MANILA - As the clock begins to wind down on the service contract of the Malampaya gas project, the Department of Energy on Tuesday declined to comment on the proposed extension of the contract saying this is still being reviewed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Malamapaya supplies natural gas to five power plants in Luzon, with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts. Its service contract is set to expire in 2024.
In a statement, the DOE said it would not comment on the request for a contract extension while Marcos reviews the proposal.
"The Energy Resource Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Energy (DOE) is withholding any comment on the request for an extension of the Service Contract (SC) No. 38 Consortium, while the same is under review by the Office of the President," the agency said.
"Suffice it to say that under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 87, the interest of the country in promoting gas and oil resources for the people’s benefit remains paramount. Accordingly, the Philippine government retains at all times its full control over all aspects of gas and oil exploration and development. The service contractor is exactly that: Contractor," it added.
Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said an extension contract is possible but it should be in favor of the government as the private investors have already recovered their investments and the facilities are now owned by the government.
Meanwhile, Former Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) President Ed Manalac appealed to Marcos to take over Malampaya after the contract expires.
Manalac also questioned the change in ownership of the two major stakeholders in Malampaya.
Enrique Razon’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc earlier said it acquired full ownership of Shell Philippines Exploration, which has a 45 percent stake in Malampaya.
Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp holds another 45 percent stake, after acquiring it from Chevron. The state-owned PNOC Exploration Corp holds the remaining 10 percent.
Manalac said the government should already prepare as early as now for the takeover.
He said the government stands to earn P100 million per day once it takes over the facility.