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Prime Infra works on more gas fields in Malampaya 

BW FILE PHOTO

PRIME INFRASTRUCTURE Capital, Inc. is looking at additional gas fields within its exploration service contract with the government to possibly supply the needs of power plants, its top official said.

Prime Infra President and Chief Executive Guillaume Lucci in a media briefing on Thursday that the company had taken over the Malampaya gas-to-power project on Nov. 1 and that it had submitted a work program to the Department of Energy for a license extension.

“The work program is consistent with the previous statements that we made, which is, we are going to do the necessary to extract as much gas as we can from Service Contract 38,” he said.

He said Malampaya’s untapped potential is a combination of extracting within the same field as well as looking at additional fields within the service contract.

“There will be a number of wells drilled. We think two operational wells as well as one exploratory well, at least. So probably two to three wells,” Mr. Lucci said.

Prime Infra, through its subsidiary, is the operator of SC 38 covering the Malampaya gas field, which supplies 20% of the country’s power requirements and 27% of the Luzon grid. The gas field’s supply is expected to be depleted by 2027.

“Rest assured that we are focused on producing as much gas as we can to sustain the needs of the power plants,” Mr. Lucci said.

Prime Infra earlier announced that it was seeking the extension of SC 38, which is set to expire by 2024. Mr. Lucci did not disclose details of the company’s next action for its license extension.

“We are very confident that power plants will utilize indigenous gas before imported LNG (liquefied petroleum gas),” he said.

Mr. Lucci said that Prime Infra is also targeting to spend up to P55 billion on energy, water, waste management, and other projects. He said that the firm is well-positioned to build projects that support the country’s “urgent needs.”

“We need about, give or take, P50 [billion] to P55 billion of equity to support our projects,” Mr. Lucci said.

According to the Energy department, the Malampaya gas field off the coast of Palawan island is the biggest commercial gas discovery in the Philippines to date.

Prime Infra, a company led by businessman Enrique K. Razon, Jr., became the operator of the Malampaya project after it acquired the stake previously held by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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