Shell completes Tabangao refinery conversion into import facility

Shell Import Facility Tabangao Handover 1

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) has inaugurated its world-class import terminal in Tabangao, Batangas City, the site of its former refinery, enhancing its capacity to meet fuel demand not just in Metro Manila, but also in Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas.

Aptly named SHIFT, or the Shell Import Facility in Tabangao, the import terminal has a storage capacity of up to 263 million liters (ML) and boasts of jetties that have loading arms, which make product transfer safer and faster, provide an easier and more ergonomic operation, give longer service life, and permit Emergency Release Action without any spillage of product and without pollution. Its jetties are designed to receive products from various vessel sizes including Medium-range import vessels (MRs). MRs can carry around 30 million to 50 million liters of petroleum products like gasoline or diesel.

The loading gantries at SHIFT are also equipped with bottom loading function, which enables Shell to load a 30kl truck in 20 minutes. There are plans to put up another bottom loading gantry to support the growth aspirations of Shell’s marketing business.

In keeping with Shell’s thrust to pursue cleaner renewable energy sources, the Tabangao facility is 100% powered by a combination of solar, geothermal, and hydro energies provided by Shell Energy Philippines (SEPH), a retail electricity supplier which is registered under the Shell companies in the Philippines (SciP). The solar farm onsite covers 5,220 solar panels and seven inverters which can generate up to 300 megawatt-hours.

“From tough decisions come positive results. 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. We are now better positioned, operationally and financially, to serve the country’s energy needs as the economy reopens with the lifting of restrictions,” PSPC President and CEO Cesar Romero said in a statement.

He added that the structural transformation of the Tabangao refinery also bolstered Shell with a more balanced and competitive marketing portfolio, supported by the organization’s robust supply chain, leading into a positive trajectory for the multinational oil giant despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Shell posted a net income of Php1 billion for the first quarter of 2021, a strong rebound from its Php5.5 billion loss year-on-year.

Aside from Romero, local officials led by Batangas City Mayor Beverley Rose Dimacuha and Rep. Mario Vittorio “Marvey” Mariño graced the event.

Meanwhile, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, in his virtual message, lauded Shell for turning a challenge into a strength. Shell informed the Department of Energy (DOE) in May 2020 that it was closing the refinery in August.

“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, Cusi said.

“You may have lost the refinery, but you continue to give back to the Filipino people. Rest assured, DOE will remain supportive of Pilipinas Shell’s current and future endeavors which will bring our country closer to attaining energy security, independence, and sustainability,” he added.

Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez, for his part, acknowledged the contribution that the SHIFT transformation has given to national development.

“I laud your initiative of transforming the former Tabangao refinery into a world-class full import terminal, as well as shifting the terminal into using renewable energy,” he said.