Udenna eyes tieup with PNOC-EC in Malampaya takeover bid

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    Udenna Corp. eyes to team up with PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) to fully take over the Malampaya gas-to-power project after Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) announced its intention to divest its 45-percent stake in the fuel source.

    “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 EC to join us in taking over the field on a 100 percent basis,” said Raymond Zorrilla, Udenna spokesperson.

    Zorilla said to minimize disruption in Malampaya’s operations, the transfer of SPEX’ interest must be resolved as soon as possible with the remaining consortium members as the logical choice to acquire the stakes to ensure continued employment and certainty to the local workforce and customers.

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    Zorrilla said the existing partners are free from any conflict of interest associated with ownership of downstream gas and electricity businesses whereas a potential new consortium member would still need to undergo evaluation.

    “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,” Zorrilla said.

    Udenna said it has worked with both SPEX and PNOC-EC to discover and produce more indigenous resources beyond the term of the existing service contract that is set to expire by 2024.

    The company also assured the exit of SPEX from the Malampaya gas field will in no way impact operations.

    SPEX last week said its divestment to the project “to a credible buyer who would be well placed to optimize the value from Malampaya” is part of its parent firm’s rationalization activities.

    Early this year, Udenna completed the acquisition of Chevron’s 45 percent stake in the Malampaya resource Early this year, Udenna completed the acquisition of Chevron’s 45 percent stake in the Malampaya resource which industry stakeholders claim to have reached a price of $560 million.

    .At present, SPEX and Udenna each has a 45 percent stake in the resource and the remaining 10 percent is being held by PNOC-EC.