Royal Dutch Shell Plc. shelved a plan to venture into renewable energy projects in the Philippines and decided to focus on energy efficiency measures and off-grid projects.
“It was challenging because first of all, there is a nationality requirement being an RE company. And we noticed when we are doing our market scouting, the market is already quite crowded with regards to RE opportunities in solar panels,” Shell Companies in the Philippines country chairman Cesar Romero said.
“So what we do in that space is we concentrate on energy efficiency measures within, rather than creating a new business out of it,” Romero said.
SCIP includes Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., which owns a 110,000-barrel-per-day refinery, and Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., the operator of the Malampaya gas project in northwest Palawan.
Shell was initially planning to set up a renewable energy company in partnership with local partners, but Romero said the group would rather build “hybrid” projects in remote areas and install solar panels for its own use.
Romero said the group was now looking at five far-flung sites for various modes of “hybrid” power projects.
“We have five sites under various hybrid modes. And our priority are the difficult-to-reach areas. Communities that are not in the five-year masterplan of the government, those are the ones we choose to help, [and those in] close proximity to our operations,” Romero said.
Romero said Shell was also focusing on energy efficiency projects to reduce the carbon footprint of local operations. He said SCIP had 33 sites with solar facilities, on top of its investments in energy solutions.
“When we did our study, we noticed there’s still a lot to be accomplished internally first before we start marketing these products. Our refinery as well, we are considering how we can deploy again solar for own use. This is under evaluation. Those kinds of energy solutions from within first. There’s a lot of opportunities to do RE within the family first,” he said.
Romero earlier said the company was in the ‘”scouting phase” for a renewable energy project in the Philippines.
“But globally, we have declared that as a global priority for us,” Romero said.
Shell’s business in the Philippines is focused on oil and gas exploration and downstream oil industry. Shell has been operating in the Philippines for more than 100 years.