Shell starts leaving Pandacan oil depot

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. has started dismantling its Pandacan oil depot, finally conceding to the decision of the Supreme Court to remove all operations in the Manila district by January next year.

“We are already starting demobilization. We’re trying to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court sometime [in] November,” Shell country chairman Edgar Chua told reporters over the weekend.

Chua said Shell had no choice but to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, which is “final and executory.”

The Supreme Court decision in November last year ordered Shell, Petron Corp. and Chevron Philippines Inc. to remove their oil depot facilities from Pandacan, Manila, and not merely cease operations.

Shell has been resisting the removal of Pandacan oil depot, saying the relocation would raise pump prices and create logistical problems.

The SC dismissed the appeal filed by Shell, saying the relocation deadline  held.

“The court denied the motion for reconsideration of Shell because the reasons given had already been decided upon by the court and there was no need for the court to rule upon them anew,” the Supreme Court said.

Chua said the company was completing the relocation, adding it was not moving the depot elsewhere, citing the existing refinery in Batangas.

He said fuel delivery faced challenges during typhoons or calamities when roads are closed or bridges are affected from Batangas to the delivery point.

“It is very challenging because we’re coming from Batangas,” he said.

Chua, meanwhile, said the company’s refinery upgrade costing $100 million to $150 million that would make its 110,000-barrel-per-day refinery compliant with the Euro IV requirement was scheduled for completion by year-end.

“We are on schedule [for year-end commissioning]... Everything we produce by that time is Euro 4,” he said.

Shell is putting up a multi-billion peso fuel import facility in Cagayan de Oro that is expected to cater to the power and energy needs of millions of residents, motorists and other end-users and consumers in Visayas and Mindanao.

“[Import facility will be] completed by October. We are advanced because it was originally planned to be completed by end of the year but the contractor is doing very well. Contractor JGC is a Japanese company and our team is working very closely with them,” he said.

Chua said the full impact of the project’s completion on revenues was expected to be felt by 2016.


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