Shell completes upgrade of Batangas facility

by Lenie Lectura – December 14, 2015

from Business Mirror

PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. has recently completed an upgrade of its refinery in Batangas City, its top official said.

Shell Country Chairman Ed Chua replied in the affirmative when asked if the oil firm has finished on upgrading its terminal.

“So far, it was December 4,” he said, when asked when it was completed.

Chua added that the company continues to “observe” the performance of its upgraded refinery. “This is a period in which it’s already completed but, of course, we need to observe if magtutuluy-tuloy ito,” the Shell official said.

Shell was looking at expanding its 110,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery to meet new fuel standards that will take effect in 2016. Euro 4 is a globally accepted European emission standard for vehicles. The Euro 4 standards require fuel to have significantly low amounts of sulfur and benzene.

An upgraded refinery will allow the oil firm to produce fuels that comply with the standards.

With an upgraded refinery, Shell could already proceed with its long-delayed plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO).

Earlier, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said Shell submitted a letter indicating its IPO plans. Melita Obillo, director of the agency’s Oil Industry Management Bureau, said the IPO will likely take place after the upgrade of its refinery in Tabangao, Batangas City.

When asked for an update of its IPO plans, Chua said this would take place sometime “middle of next year, but because of the upcoming elections we will have to see the timing.”

He said the national election in May 2016 is crucial to the timing of the IPO.

“There are five presidential candidates and the competition is neck and neck. People are saying that they dont know who to vote for yet and maybe its better to wait and see, so we can determine the next Cabinet and what kind of policies will be implemented,” Chua said.

The Shell official added that it “could be better” to conduct the IPO after election. On the other hand, Chua said, “We cannot say before or after because we have to see the environment at that time.”

The DOE has been urging Shell for so many years now to conduct an IPO since it received the mandate under the Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, which states that an oil company must list in the local bourse at least 10 percent of its shares within three year’s time from the effectivity of the law. This means that Shells IPO should have been completed by 2002.