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Shell earmarks P20B for business shift

Maria Romero

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Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell that recently bowed out of the local refining business, said it will invest P20 billion over the next five years to recalibrate business operations.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Pilipinas Shell president and chief executive officer Cesar Romero said the company prioritizes the transformation of its Tabangao refinery in Batangas into an import terminal.

He said the initiative was part of the firm’s plan to strengthen its financial footing and expand its domestic footprint in just half a decade.

“The transformation of the refinery into a world-class import terminal will help the business. We have seen as much as a P10-billion swing in refining margins. With the conversion along with the passage of CREATE bill, we will see significant benefits,” Romero told reporters.

Strong bet on recovery

As part of its five-year business plan, Romero said Pilipinas Shell has earmarked around P3 billion to P4 billion annually to meet the country’s energy and mobility requirements as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

Pilipinas Shell ended 2020 with a net loss of P16.18 billion due to one-time charges that came with the transformation of its Tabangao refinery and the global drop in crude oil prices. But Romero explained that the transformation would usher in significant business gains in the long run as it would reduce capital and operational expense exposure and lessen vulnerabilities to variability and product pricing.

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