Malampaya’s 20-day maintenance to cover shallow water platform

The core component of the 20-day maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas production facility next month will be the “shallow water platform”, primarily its flare tip replacement, according to Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the operator of the gas field.

The shallow water platform is the part of the facility that processes the gas and will subsequently export it through the 504-kilometer underwater pipeline to its onshore gas plant in Tabangao, Batangas.

Then from Malampaya’s landing facility in Batangas, the gas output will then be fed to its off-taker gas-fired power facilities that are also sited in various parts of that same province.

The flare tip is the technology at the end of the flare stack or flare boom that is designed to support entrainment of air into the flare, so it can improve burn efficiency of the gas being processed at the plant.

Apart from the shallow water platform, the other major scopes of the maintenance activities at the Malampaya facility from October 2-22 will be those at the offshore flare ignition package; offshore xBoost project scopes; heat exchanger gasket and bolt replacements.

SPEX noted that there will also be: pressure vessel inspections; critical safety preventive maintenance tasks; and process control domain upgrades.

This year’s preventive maintenance activity at the gas facility will be the last to be undertaken by SPEX as field operator, because that task will already be turned over to Malampaya Energy XP Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Udenna Corporation of businessman Dennis Uy, which is the buyer of Shell’s 45-percent stake in Malampaya. The transaction is due for financial closing and government approvals on or before December this year.

The turnaround works at the gas field will have three-tier mobilization of personnel: first, will be the foreign consultants who will be arriving in the country for that commitment; second, will be the local technical team from SPEX who will fly in at the platform; and third, will be the core team already working at the shallow water platform.

SPEX emphasized that there will be “work bubble” that shall be enforced for the turnaround (TA) technical teams who will be engaged in the maintenance shutdown activities at the Malampaya field; and they will also comply with all safety protocols, including mandatory quarantine, RT-PCR testing as well as the need to show negative Covid test results before they will be mobilized at the platform.

The ‘bubble occupants’ will also have designated hotels as temporary dwelling place – including Acacia Hotel for quarantine requirements; shuttle drivers and critical crew will be billeted at Pontefino Hotel in Batangas; while those who will be doing technical preventive maintenance activities will be staying at Floatel Triumph, a floating hotel that will serve as a ‘temporary residence bubble’ for the technical crew at the platform.

SPEX said Floatel Triumph is “equipped with latest systems that can offer safe and comfortable accommodation to our teams who will work on the turnaround” at the Malampaya field. The floating hotel has 301 cabins, 500-bed capacity and 83 work stations.

The Malampaya gas operator added “preparation for the SPEX teams who will be staying in the Floatel Triumph are underway.”

SPEX further indicated that “boarding and crew change are currently happening and expected to be completed by September 1,” noting further that “gangway connection will be installed by September 3; while upmanning for fabric maintenance, CM backlog campaign and minor modifications will start on September 4.” ###