Shell Philippines Exploration, B.V. (SPEX), the operator and developer of the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project, recently opened the gates of the Malampaya Phase 3 (MP3) Fabrication Yard at the Keppel Subic Shipyard for university students to appreciate the pioneering energy technology that Shell implements in the country.

Around thirty aspiring engineers from Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines–Diliman and University of Santo Tomas were selected to experience the exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

MP3 is the first offshore gas platform to be built in the Philippines. With its technologically innovative capacities, the platform is enabled to "self-install" using a built-in jacking system beside the existing Malampaya offshore platform located in the West Philippine Sea near Palawan, by early next year.

MP3’s additional offshore gas platform, together with Malampaya Phase 2’s (MP2) additional deepwater gas production wells that were completed in 2013, will sustain the level of natural gas being harnessed by Malampaya to power up to 30 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The Department of Energy spearheads the Malampaya Project that SPEX operates on behalf of joint venture partners.

The students visited the fabrication yard’s pipe shop and dry dock gangway, where they appreciated a full view of the MP3 platform slowly coming to completion, especially the towering 1,500-ton gantry crane - the tallest in Southeast Asia - that was built to execute difficult heavy-lift activities for MP3.

The students also met the people behind Malampaya - some of the young and seasoned engineers of SPEX who shared the inspiring stories of their career journey.

Inspiring the youth

"The highlight of my career was when I got assigned to work offshore, on the Malampaya platform," said SPEX operations engineer Cheryll Lucas. "I was really proud to work in an engineering marvel, an innovative feat in technology for the country."

MP3 mechanical engineer Ronald Montales credits Shell for the rare opportunity to be part of a project that contributes to society and the economy. "Shell is really committed to develop its people. You get to reinvent yourself," he explained. "I feel proud to be part of the team that develops MP3 because I get to fulfill my dream as an engineer - and that is to contribute in the design and construction of a gas compression facility. And more than this, I get to be part of a project that helps power Philippine progress."

Another young SPEX engineer, Lowell Morales, shared his inspiring story of success despite personal difficulties. After graduating from the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga, he applied for and clinched a coveted spot in the Shell Graduate Program. As a management trainee, Morales received world-class training and education to develop his potential as a leader in the company. He was also given the opportunity to travel the world, for his personal and professional development.

On revealing his secret to success, Morales said, "Like anyone, I had my inhibitions and doubts, especially when I was just starting, and even until now. Just continue to never let anything hold you back, believe in yourself and never say you can’t."

MP3 company site representative Nathan Stephenson, who joined Shell as an engineering graduate in the UK, similarly shared his exciting journey in the company - a career that has already brought him to four different countries.

Energy and nation-building

The developments and achievements at Malampaya gain increased significance for Shell as it marks one hundred years of operation in the Philippines.

As a global leader in power, energy and gas technology, Shell seeks to continuously address energy challenges while mitigating environmental impact, through endeavors such as Malampaya. It focuses on delivering smarter products and cleaner energy, smarter infrastructure, promoting sustainable mobility, and developing new energy sources such as cleaner-burning natural gas.

By inspiring Filipino youth today with the possibilities of an innovative energy future, Shell hopes to continue contributing to nation-building, especially as it moves toward its next hundred years in the country.