EU diplomats back PH as investment hub in Asia

Ambassadors and diplomats from member states of the European Union (EU) have underlined their strong support for the Philippines as an investment destination in Asia.

This followed a visit to the construction site of the second offshore gas platform of the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Phase 3 Project.

[caption id="attachment_99133" align="aligncenter" width="648"] PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP — The European Union delegation visits Malampaya Phase 3 fabrication yard in Subic Bay. A total P45 Billion (€750M) has been poured into new platform of Malampaya. Briefing the diplomats is Antoine Bliek, Malampaya Phase 2 and 3 Project Manager. The high-level EU delegation is made up of (L-R) Germany-Michael Hasper, Charge d’ Affaires a.i; EU Delegation- Ambassador Guy Ledoux; The Netherlands- Hero de Boer, Charge d’ Affaires a.i ; Austria Ambassador Josef Meullner; Greece’s- Nikolaos Verghis; EU Delegation- Walter van Hattum, Head of Trade & Eco; Romania- Mihai Sion, Charge d’ Affaires a.i; Italy (not in photo) - Ambassador Massimo Roscigno.[/caption]

EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said “Several European companies are involved in this endeavor that promises to secure an important source of revenue for the Philippine people while creating new jobs for well-trained Filipinos in their own country.”

Ledoux, with Ambassador Josef Muellner (Austria), Roland Van Remoortele (Belgium); Massimo Roscigno (Italy); Charges d’Affaires a.i Michael Hasper (Germany), Hero de Boer (Netherlands), Mihai Sion (Romania); Deputy Heads of Mission Jan Vytopil (Czech Republic), Nicholaos Verghis (Greece); and Commercial Counsellor Ms. Marie-Jose Connan (France) on Thursday toured the Keppel Subic Shipyard in Subic, Zambales, to witness the fabrication activities for the Malampaya Phase 3 (MP3) platform.

Their visit did not only highlight the strong EU presence in the Philippines but also showed that the European Union has confidence in the Philippine economy and is looking to put in more investments, officials said.

Ledoux added, “We are convinced that many opportunities for more European job-creating investments exist.

“European businesses are closely following developments here, in particular with respect to reforms in customs, competition and public procurement, as they make their investment decisions.’’

Largest Investor By Stock

To date, the European Union is already the largest investor in the Philippines by stock at P440 billion.

These investments have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Philippines while adding value to the economy through technology and capital transfer, officials said.

The Malampaya Project – which supplies more than 40 percent of Luzon’s power requirements – is developed and operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) on behalf of joint venture partners Chevron Malampaya LLC and the PNOC Exploration Corporation.

The parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell plc, which is incorporated in Britain with headquarters in the Netherlands.

Still regarded as the single biggest investment in the Philippines to date, Phase 1 of the Malampaya project has an estimated capital outlay of $4.5 billion.

It is now in its next stages of development which aim to maintain current levels of natural gas production.

$1.02B For Malampaya

In particular, the consortium has committed to pour in an additional $1.02 billion for the Malampaya Phases 2 and 3, according to officials.

The scale of the second Malampaya platform project required the use of a 1,500T gantry crane, the largest in Southeast Asia that has been built at the Keppel Subic Shipyard specifically for the Phase 3 project.

After the construction of the platform, the offshore transport and installation of the second gas platform beside the existing one will be executed with the participation of European companies Boskalis and Mammoet.

Sebastian Quiniones, Shell Philippines Exploration, B.V. Managing Director, said the company welcomed the visit of the EU delegates.

“We are happy to welcome the European Union delegates to the Malampaya Phase 3 Fabrication Yard and showcase a technological innovation where a gas platform is being built for the first time in the country.

“The relationship between the European Union and the Philippines has been a long-standing one and we are positive that this partnership will continue to broaden and deepen our ties and help each other progress as nations,’’ Quiniones added.