Udenna Corp., controlled by businessman Dennis Uy, on Monday expressed interest in acquiring the 45-percent stake of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.
Udenna Group spokesperson Raymond Zorrilla said the company, along with fellow consortium member state-owned PNOC Exploration Corp., was prepared to exercise its contractual rights under Service Sontract 38.
Udenna, which earlier acquired the 45-percent interest of Chevron Corp. in the project, and PNOC-EC have the right of first refusal in the acquisition of Shell's stake.
Zorrilla said complicated issues might arise in case Shell sold the stake to a party outside the consortium. He said the evaluation would take time.
“Should Shell not consider their existing partners, but put forth a decision to sell its stake to another third party, Udenna will rely on its rights as stipulated in the agreement and as a member of the consortium, such as our pre-emptive and consent rights,” said Zorrilla.
Udenna has a 45-percent interest in SC 38 while PNOC-EC has 10 percent.
“The Udenna Group firmly believes that Malampaya is a high-quality asset, strategic to the future welfare and energy security of the country and welcome our partner PNOC Exploration Corp. to join us in taking over the field on a 100-percent basis,” Zorrilla said.
He said the transfer of Spex’s interest in Malampaya should be resolved as soon as possible, with the remaining consortium members as the logical choice to acquire the Shell stake to ensure the continued employment and certainty to the local workforce, customers and stakeholders who rely on Malampaya’s continued safe and reliable operations.
“We are fortunate that the Malampaya workforce composed of Filipinos have had the benefit of years of training by Shell and are in fact the lifeblood of the project; and it is the remaining Consortium members’ responsibility to ensure that they remain secure in the knowledge that their service to the country shall continue. The Malampaya facilities are run by Filipino men and women to produce energy safely and reliably to keep the lights on for every Filipino,” said Zorrilla.
He said Udenna was also privileged to have been able to work with Shell and PNOC EC in producing more indigenous resources beyond the term of the existing service contract.
“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,” Zorrilla said.
The Udenna Group, he said, believes that the exit of Shell from the Malampaya gas field would in no way impact uts operations.
The group expressed trust and faith in the Filipino operating team which would continue operating the asset post any sale by Spex of its interest.
Udenna’s businesses include distribution and retail of finished petroleum products, shipping and logistics. Udenna has expanded and diversified its portfolio to include property development, education, food, gaming and tourism, infrastructure and telecommunications.
Udenna employs over 9,000 personnel and is expected to create thousands more jobs for Filipinos over the coming years.