PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) officially inaugurated on Tuesday, July 19 its P6-billion North Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF) as part of its bid to help address the growing power and energy needs of the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
The facility, situated in Cagayan de Oro City, is expected to accommodate petroleum imports of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel with a total capacity of 170,000 cubic meters storage at any given time. Construction started in 2013.
“Our refining capacity is already maxed out so any growth would have to come from imports. The imports will have to be large ships and the only facility where it can be received is Tabangao refinery in Batangas,” Edgar Chua, chairman of Shell Companies in the Philippines, told reporters.
“From refinery then it will be distributed to the Visayas and Mindanao which is very expensive. When there is a typhoon in Luzon you can’t deliver even if it is only typhoon signal number 1,” Chua said.
The new facility is also expected to help reduce maritime risks since the source of petroleum products is now closer to the intended distribution points.
“It will lower the cost and there is less double handling,” Chua said.
The facility is expected to boost activity at the Port of Cagayan de Oro, which lost most of its cargo clientele to the nearby Mindanao Container Terminal in the adjacent municipality of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
The NMIF successfully received its first MR vessel on June 10 and admitted approximately 25 million liters of automotive diesel oil that filled two of its four diesel storage tanks.
Pilipinas Shell operates a refinery, 22 oil depots, and over 960 retail stations nationwide.
Its sole refinery blends and transports a range of fuels, lubricants, bitumen and other specialty oil-based products with a refining capacity of 93,000 barrels per day.
The NMIF is part of Shell’s commitment to support the directives of the Department of Energy (DOE) to promote development and upgrade of the downstream infrastructure and to update the country’s oil-supply contingency plan through the establishment of an oil stockpile.
“The total petroleum demand for Mindanao now stands at 16 percent, while Visayas accounts for 13 percent. That’s why this investment will not only augment Mindanao’s energy supply, but also provide more employment and livelihood opportunities for the people here,” said DOE Undersecretary Donato Marcos, who represented Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi during the inauguration and delivered his speech for him.
“The new administration has vowed to accelerate economic and social progress in Mindanao. This is a vital component of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pro-people agenda.
And in implementing this agenda, DOE will play a very important role in the next six years,” Cusi’s message said.
“Mindanao definitely needs a vibrant and dynamic energy sector to bring about sustained economic growth. And I must congratulate Pilipinas Shell for its full support for the government’s policy thrust under the recently updated Philippine Development Plan to attract more energy investments,” he added.
Pilipinas Shell’s Cagayan de Oro terminal commenced operations in 1968, or almost 50 years ago. With the newly inaugurated facility, NMIF has evolved into an import terminal for gasoline, diesel and LPG products with a much bigger storage capacity.
The facility is now the largest terminal outside Luzon to serve demand from Mindanao and Visayas.
Undersecretary Marcos also acknowledged the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for providing an area to complete the project.
With the bigger facility, there is now ample space for receiving medium-range vessels within PPA’s premises with the availability of new cargo lines ensuring safe and efficient receiving and loading operations, he said.