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Shell’s solar farm now powers its Batangas import facility

PILIPINAS SHELL Petroleum Corp.’s solar farm in Tabangao, Batangas has been supplying power to the listed oil company’s import terminal since December, its top executive said on Monday.

In a virtual event with reporters, Pilipinas Shell President and Chief Executive Officer Cesar G. Romero said the solar facility, which is part of the import terminal’s integrated energy system, has produced more than 84,000 kilowatt-hours since it was commissioned last month.

The integrated energy system is expected to produce around 2,400 megawatts (MW) of energy, which could power more than 850 homes, the company previously said. It would also improve energy efficiency.

“The (solar) facility’s 5,220 panels with a peak capacity of 1.8 MW DC (direct current) will support 10% of Tabangao import facility’s annual power requirement, which may even reach 45% in the summer with an expected peak operation of the solar farm during the sunny months,” Mr. Romero said during the Shell Philippines Media Appreciation Event.

In August, Pilipinas Shell announced that it was permanently closing its 110,000-barrel-per-day Tabangao oil refinery as its operations were no longer economically viable and as margins worsened amid the global health emergency. The firm said that the facility would be converted into a world-class import terminal, which would supply fuel products in Luzon and northern Visayas.

In the third quarter, the company posted P7.5 billion in one-off charges after it permanently shuttered its refinery. The Tabangao import facility is one of its three terminals in the country.

“Late last year, we opened our third import terminal in Subic which, together with the Tabangao terminal in Batangas and the North Mindanao Import Facility in Cagayan de Oro, formed a robust supply triangle that maximizes our efficiency and strengthens the world-class supply chain network that we have in the Philippines,” Mr. Romero said.

During the event, he also gave updates on the growth of the company’s retail network amid the global health emergency.

“As of end-December 2020, we have over a thousand retail sites nationwide and with the increase in retail sales especially during the last quarter, it is reasonable to expect an additional 50 to 70 sites to open within 2021,” he said.

Shares in Pilipinas Shell inched down by 1.47% to finish at P20.10 apiece on Tuesday. — Angelica Y. Yang

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