Listed firm Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation has unveiled its newly transformed world-class oil import facility in Tabangao, Batangas that has been christened as “SHIFT” – and that is in the site of its refinery which had ceased operations last year because of a business model deviation embraced by the company for its downstream oil venture.

The company said the import facility, at its medium range handling capacity, would be able to meet fuel demand of consumers not just in high-traffic areas of Metro Manila, but also the comparatively juicy markets of Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas.

The full conversion of the Shell refinery into a state-of-the-art import facility, as previously indicated by Shell executives, will require capital outlay of P1.0 billion to P2.0 billion and this will be rolled over in a span of three years.

HANDOVER OF SHELL IMPORT FACILITY IN TABANGAO, BATANGAS. Shown at the ribbon cutting ceremony during the milestone handover of Shell Import Facility Tabangao (SHIFT) in Batangas which had undergone a transformation from a refinery into a world-class import facility are (from left): Pilipinas Shell VP for External and Government Relations Serge Bernal; Carlos Pastor, Executive Assistant to Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas; Batangas Congressman Marvey MariƱo; Pilipinas Shell President and Chief Executive Officer Cesar Romero; Batangas Mayor Beverley Rose Dimacuha; Pilipinas Shell incoming Vice President of Trading & Supply Kit Bermudez, and Pilipinas Shell Business Development Manager Gus Mathay.

According to Kit Bermudez, incoming vice president for trading and supply of Shell, the Tabango terminal “aims to build a more resilient supply chain with a robust logistics set-up,” having been equipped with medium-range capable jetty and sufficient storage capacity.

As blueprinted, the Tabangao refinery has a storage capacity of 263 million liters and it has jetties with loading arms – hence, that will make product transfer safer and faster; and can also provide easier access, more ergonomic operation and sets longer service life.

“Its jetties are designed to receive products from various vessel sizes – including medium range import vessels, that can carry around 30 million to 50 million liters of petroleum products like gasoline or diesel,” the oil firm expounded.

With what had been considered as a ‘difficult transition’ held on to by the oil firm last year relative to its refinery operations, Pilipinas Shell President and CEO Cesar G. Romero asserted that “from tough decisions come positive results.”

He explained that “the transformation of our refinery into a world class import facility demonstrates Shell’s commitment to provide sustainable energy to the Philippines despite the challenging conditions posed by the pandemic.”

Romero qualified that with a change in their business approach, “we are now better positioned, operationally and financially, to serve the country’s energy needs as the economy re-opens with the lifting of restrictions.”

Even with Shell’s business journey diversion, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi stated that “you may have lost the refinery, but you continue to give back to the Filipino people,” and for that, he pledged the government’s continued support to the company on its energy projects and forthcoming ventures.

The energy chief narrated that he was informed of Shell’s Tabangao refinery shutdown as early as May 2020; or at least three months prior to the final decision by the company’s principals to finally enforce the business shift strategy relative to the facility.

Cusi noted despite that drawback, “Pilipinas Shell proved its resilience in its quick decision to transform the refinery into a world-class import terminal – a business call that would ensure continued fuel supply while enhancing the revenues and supply performances.”

For Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, he was cheered up by Shell’s initiative to integrate solar as a power source for its oil import facility, with him stressing that this is in line with the government’s bid at harnessing renewable energy “to drive the growth of our economy.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (