Malampaya is a deep-water gas field located in the West Philippine Sea, approximately 50km north-west of Palawan, Philippines.

Commissioned in 2001, the Malampaya field has been delivering feed gas to a number of power plants at Batangas on Luzon Island, accounting for approximately one-fifth of the Philippines’ electricity requirement.

The Malampaya gas-to-power project was developed in three stages with a total investment of £3.4bn ($4.5bn).

Shell Philippines Exploration (SPEX), a subsidiary of Shell, holds 45% interest and is the operator of the project, while the other two joint venture partners are Chevron Malampaya (45%) and the Philippine National Oil Corporation-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC, 10%).

Malampaya gas-to-power project development details

The Malampaya gas-to-power project comprises five production wells, one shallow-water production platform, one depletion compression platform (DCP), and a 504km-long underwater pipeline connecting an onshore gas processing plant at Batangas.

The upstream component of the project involved an investment of £1.5bn ($2bn), while the downstream component incurred £1.9bn ($2.5bn).

Phase one development of the offshore gas field included the drilling of three production wells as well as the installation of a shallow-water platform and the pipeline.

Phase two involved the drilling of two additional production wells in 2013, while the DCP was installed to maintain the field’s gas production level, as part of the phase three development in 2015.

In September 2019, SPEX applied to the  Department of Energy, Government of Philippines, to extend the service contract allowing for the operation of the Malampaya gas field beyond 2024.

Malampaya gas reserves and production details

The Malampaya gas-to-power project is based on the gigantic Camago-Malampaya natural gas reservoir that lies 2,990m below sea level. The offshore field, located in 820m-deep waters, was discovered in 1992.

The field was estimated to contain up to 3.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas, 85 million barrels of condensate, and up to 40 million barrels of oil.

It currently produces more than 429 million cubic feet of natural gas a day (Mcf/d).

Contractors involved

Wood, a technical and engineering services provider based in Scotland, was contracted to provide asset management services to Shell for the Malampaya gas-to-power project for a period of six years, in August 2018.

The scope of the contract includes maintenance services, modifications, and shut down support services for the offshore as well as onshore facilities of the project.

Fluor provided front-end engineering and design (FEED) services, as well as served as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the phase three development of the project.

The depletion compression platform (DCP) was manufactured at Keppel’s Subic Shipyard, while Arup provided detailed design for the substructure of the platform.

Boskalis was engaged for the seabed preparation works as well as the transportation and installation of the DCP platform.

Cooper Cameron and Intecsea were engaged as subsea contractors during previous phases of the project development.

Power plants fed by the Malampaya gas field

The Malampaya field provides feed gas to five power plants on the Luzon Island, including four combined-cycle and one open-cycle power plants that have a combined installed capacity of 3.2GW.

The power plants are the 1.2GW Ilijan power station, the 1,000MW Saint Rita power station (1,000 MW), the 500MW San Lorenzo power plant, the 414MW San Gabriel power plant, and the 97MW Avion power plant.

Ilijan combined-cycle power station details

The 1.2GW Ilijan power plant, built on a 60-acre site at Arenas Point, Barangay Ilijan, Batangas City, is 80%-owned and operated by KEPCO Ilijan Corporation, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The remaining 20% stake is held by TeaM Energy.

The Ilijan power plant comprises two 600MW combined-cycle units. Construction on the £730m ($960m) project was started in March 1999, while commissioning took place in June 2000.

Santa Rita power station details

The 1GW Santa Rita power station is located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex, Batangas City, approximately 100km south of Manila. It is owned and operated by First Gas Power Corporation (FGPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen.

The plant began commercial operations in August 2000, initially running on liquid fuel. It switched to natural gas in October 2001 when gas from the Malampaya field became available.

The Santa Rita combined-cycle power plant utilises four Siemens v84.3A gas turbines with a 220MW rated capacity each.

Fuel supply for the power plant is secured through a 22-year gas supply purchase agreement (GSPA) with the Malampaya consortium.

San Lorenzo combined-cycle power plant details

The 500MW San Lorenzo power plant located adjacent to the Santa Rita power plant is also owned and operated by FGPC. Equipped with two Siemens v84.3A natural gas turbines, the plant was commissioned in October 2002.

Gas supply for the plant is secured through a 22-year GSPA with the Malampaya consortium.

Avion open-cycle power plant details

The 97MW Avion power plant, also located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex, Batangas City, is also owned and operated by Prime Meridian Powergen Corporation (PMPC), another wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen.

The open-cycle power plant comprising two units of GE’s LM6000 PC Sprint aero-derivative gas turbines commenced operation in September 2016.

San Gabriel combined-cycle power plant details

The 414MW San Gabriel combined-cycle power plant located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex, Batangas City, is owned and operated by First Gen’s wholly-owned subsidiary, First NatGas Power Corporation (FNPC).

The gas-fired plant is equipped with an SCC6-8000H gas turbine from Siemens. It started commercial operations utilising feed gas from the Malampaya gas field in November 2016.

The San Gabriel power plant will shift to re-gasified LNG when the Malampaya field ceases gas production.