Preparatory measures are being undertaken by Prime Energy in relation to the two-week scheduled maintenance shutdown (SMS) for the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power (Malampaya) project. Beginning on February 4 until 18, the SMS is part of a planned maintenance activity in Malampaya to ensure that the equipment and assets within the facility operate safely, reliably, and efficiently to avert any untoward incidents that can affect the continuous supply of gas to the power plants.
Prime Energy General Manager Sebastian Quiniones said, “The scheduled maintenance shutdown is a preventive maintenance activity that is executed at regular intervals to ensure that the Malampaya project continues to produce safe and reliable energy to supply the grid and meet the power requirements of the country.”
In preparation for the SMS, more than the usual number of activities is expected around the sites and host communities at barangays Tabangao, Ambulong, Libjo, San Isidro, and Malitam (TALIM) in Batangas. There will be more contractors and workforce in the area, as well as more cargo movements at Batangas port.
Throughout the duration of the SMS, the supply of gas will temporarily stop, requiring the power plants that use Malampaya gas to switch to alternate sources of fuel. In the same period, flaring with loud noise at the onshore gas plant will be experienced by the fence-line communities. A maintenance work on the flare system is necessary to depressurize the whole gas plant from hydrocarbons. In the previous SMS, a noise level test was conducted at least two to three days prior to the actual flaring to determine the noise level in the community. The same was also conducted during and after the flaring for the purpose of comparison.
This year’s maintenance program is done in continuous coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE) and has been communicated in advance to the other relevant stakeholders. Prime Energy sent notification letters to the DOE and its roster of customers including First Gen and other power plants as early as May 2022, as well as attended briefings with the DOE in December 2022 and January 2023.
Prime Energy has also scheduled engagement meetings with the local government unit in Batangas including the Governor of Batangas, the City Mayor, the Bureau of Fire, and the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of Batangas City this month. A series of briefings for the barangay leaders of the fence-line communities at TALIM is also scheduled.
In a recent press conference, the DOE stated that it is ensuring the consistent supply of power once the SMS starts in February. The department said it is working with relevant parties to execute several contingency measures including the designation of “must-run” plants or power plants that are required to supply electricity to the grid regardless of any conditions.
As an outstanding world-class upstream operation, which has demonstrated high safety performance and high operational reliability, Malampaya regularly performs maintenance on its facilities. It has produced safe and reliable energy for the Philippines for over 20 years now.
The Malampaya project harnessed indigenous natural gas to reduce oil imports, contribute to better air quality, and generate significant revenues for the local government amounting to US$B13 or over PHP 1 trillion, making it one of the country’s most important power assets. Since 2001, Malampaya continues to power up to 20% of Luzon’s total electricity requirements.
Recently, an advisory council composed of technical experts and key industry leaders was convened to ensure the long-term success of the multi-year exploration and development programs of Prime Energy, a subsidiary of Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. (Prime Infra).
Prime Infra is well-positioned to continue the solid track record of Malampaya recognized all over the world. The company’s energy portfolio is aligned with the national government’s goal to attain energy independence and security while reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Apart from the upstream gas project, other developments in the company’s energy portfolio include renewables (solar and hydropower), sustainable fuels, and a fully automated gas-fired power plant equipped with latest engines and control systems in Iraq.