After Casino Deal, Billionaire Ricky Razon Set to Acquire Controlling Stake in Malampaya Gas Field from Dennis Uy
The infrastructure unit of Enrique Razon Jr. will acquire a controlling stake in the Malampaya Deep Water gas field project, the company announced on Thursday, June 2.
Prime Infra Holdings, Inc. said the acquisition process has already kicked off and will close “subject to the consent of various parties including the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC),” as well as the approval of other regulatory and lenders’ approvals.
Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation currently controls 90 percent of Malampaya after acquiring it in a two-tiered asset deal last year.
Udenna’s purchase of the offshore gas field raised concerns from multiple groups that questioned the deal despite the company not having prior experience in gas exploration.
This isn’t the first time Razon is investing in a company controlled by Uy. In May, Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts announced that it would invest in Uy’s casino resort project in Cebu and Clark in Pampanga.
According to a news release sent to media, Malampaya’s service contract is set to expire in 2024, which makes Prime Infra’s entry critical to the gas field’s continued operations “while applying for an extension so it can invest in its expansion, which will sustain the economic and social benefits that Malampaya is providing for the country.”
Prime Infra said its entry into the natural gas industry “aligns with its purpose to create better lives and resilient economies through critical infrastructure coupled by its aspiration to help its customers transition to cleaner energy resources to fuel the economic growth of the Philippines.”
“Natural gas is a critical transition fuel and the modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure built to harness this valuable transition fuel attracted us to pursue this deal – all aspects of the project ticks off our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) check list that will allow us to contribute more to the country’s transition from expensive and volatile coal and imported fuel prices to affordable cleaner and domestic energy resources like natural gas,” said Razon, who is the chairman of Prime Infra.
“Also, there is a sense of ownership to achieving national energy independence when you bring in Filipino companies to handle the reins of a critical power infrastructure and this is what Prime Infra aims to do with our participation in Malampaya,” he added. “We will invest and sustain the development and production of domestic gas as long as the terms of the operating license and the natural resources permit.”
“We look forward to this opportunity to partner with Prime Infrastructure and PNOC EC, as we explore more ways to fulfill our common vision to make Malampaya sustain its capability to meet the urgent energy security needs of the Philippines,” said Udenna Corporation Chairman and CEO Dennis Uy.
Malampaya, which started operations in 2002, supports up to 20 percent of the country’s electricity requirements using indigenous resources of natural gas.