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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Pilipinas Shell eyes up to 60 stations in 2023

PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. is targeting to put up between 40 and 60 new service stations each year until 2025, its top official said last week.

“For our stations, we have over 1,100 stations at the end of mid-last year and we will continue to grow that by 40 to 60 sites year on year until 2025,” Pilipinas Shell Petroleum President Lorelie Q. Osial told reporters.

To achieve its target expansion, Ms. Osial said the company is planning to have five import-range terminals, with its fifth terminal expected to be put up this year.

“We have committed to having five import-range terminals, we broke ground for the fourth one last year and we are looking forward to announce the fifth one. We will announce it in 2023,” she said.

Ms. Osial said the investment cost for the target expansion would be “a lot” but declined to disclose specific figures.

“[What] I can only disclose right now is the 40-60 [service stations]. It’s 40-60 per year until 2025,” she said.

She said the full effect of Russia’s war on Ukraine on the Philippines’ oil prices remains to be seen but described the ongoing conflict as a big disruptor, causing volatility.

“Macroeconomic conditions are still changing. Volatility is determined by market conditions [and] geopolitics. [I] can’t accurately guess the future,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Osial said that the company continues to be interested in the renewable energy (RE) sector.

“You have seen that we also entered the renewable space. We signed joint ventures last year on solar, so we continue to progress,” she said.

According to the group’s website, Shell Overseas Investments B.V. in 2022 partnered with Emerging Power, Inc. in a joint venture that aims to contribute 1 gigawatt (GW) to the country’s energy system by 2028 by using alternative sources of energy.

In November 2022, Shell Overseas partnered with Alternergy Holdings Corp. to assess the feasibility of an offshore wind project in Calavite Passage for a potential capacity of 1 GW.

Aside from renewables, Ms. Osial said that the Shell group, through Shell Energy Philippines Inc., remains interested in the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Shell Energy Philippines’ LNG project is one of the six LNG terminals approved by the Department of Energy.

Data provided by the department show that the company’s proposed LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Tabangao, Batangas City is targeted to start operating by October 2023.

The terminal project has a capacity of three million tons per annum (MTPA), with a construction cost of around P2.47 billion.

“It is in progress. These are big projects. We are working with different agencies to put it forward and progress it further,” Ms. Osial said.

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