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Pilipinas Shell plans to remain in PSE despite closing refinery

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. will not delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange after shutting down its 110,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Tabangao, Batangas last year, a top executive said over the weekend.

“We intend to continue being listed. Our intention when we transformed our refinery is to improve our financial performance. No thoughts on delisting. We will maintain status quo,” Pilipinas Shell president and chief executive officer Cesar Romero said.

Under the Oil Industry Deregulation Law of 1998, oil refiners such as Pilipinas Shell were required to list at least 10 percent of their shares in the local bourse.

Pilipinas Shell listed its shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange in November 2016 to comply with the law.

The company decided to shut down its refinery in August 2020 amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international demand, which led to unprecedented decline of oil prices.

Pilipinas Shell said it would focus on transforming the Tabangao refinery into a world-class oil import terminal, with plans to invest P1 billion to P2 billion in the next three years.

Romero said the refinery’s conversion reduced capital and operational expense exposure, lessened vulnerabilities to variability and product pricing and brought about growth.

“So before when we had the refinery, we were spending as much as P1 billion per year just on asset integrity and basic maintenance, whereas now we will be spared of that value and we could redeploy the capex to really value adding investments either in terms of revenue generation or cost reduction,” he said.

Meanwhile, Romero said the company was ready to launch the infrastructure for electric vehicles if needed.

Pilipinas Shell signed a memorandum of agreement in 2017 with QEV Philippines, a joint venture of Filipino and Spanish businessmen Endika Aboitiz and Enrique Banuelos to put up the first electric vehicle fast charging infrastructure in the country.

“The challenge is if there is demand and regulatory framework. Electricity is a different regulatory body from oil. Who is allowed to retail electricity?” Romero said.

“However, one advantage of being part of the broader Shell company is we have knowledge from other countries. Our new stations are EV ready,” he said.

Topics: Philippine Stock Exchange , Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp , Oil Industry Deregulation Law , Cesar Romero
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