MANILA - The Department of Energy on Monday said it has approved Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc's acquisition of Shell's 45 percent interest in the Malampaya Service gas project following a review.
The Enrique Razon-led Prime Infra was technically, financially and legally qualified as a transferee and as successor to Shell as Operator of the Malampaya natural gas project, the DOE said in a statement.
"The DOE has approved the same after a thorough review in accordance with Presidential Decree 87 and Department Circular No. DC2007-04-0003 for the transfer of rights and obligations in petroleum service contract," it said in a statement.
Once the deal is completed, Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) will become a subsidiary of Prime Infra, the DOE said.
PNOC-EC, which has a stake in the gas project, had previously given its consent to the sale as a member of the consortium, the agency added.
"We welcome DOE's thorough review and subsequent approval of the SPEX sale given the urgency to sustain the operations of Malampaya - a vital energy installation and symbol of national pride - and to plan for the future development of the existing reserves in light of the current power under supply," Prime Infra Chairman Enrique Razon said in a separate statement.
"We will contribute by doing all that can be done to produce as much gas as possible to sustain production in support of the power demand in Luzon," he added.
Prime Infra said it would assume full ownership of SPEX after transition and handover of operations are completed likely at Nov. 1, 2022.
A firm led by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy earlier sought to acquire Shell's stake in Malampaya. Lawmakers and other groups however questioned Uy's acquisition.