Shell steps up diversification of power generation in PH

Published January 19, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Philippine subsidiary of energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is stepping up on its diversification in power, with the launch of a new corporate vehicle – the Shell Energy Philippines Inc. – that will focus on investments in electricity generation sub-segment of the energy sector.

“As we continue to expand our core business, one key change that you may expect to see from Shell is a more diversified portfolio set to meet the cleaner energy needs of the country,” Shell Philippines President and CEO Cesar G. Romero said in a media gathering last Monday (January 18).

Shell Philippines President and CEO Cesar G. Romero

He specified that the Philippine unit of the multinational firm just launched the new subsidiary power firm last year, and with that “you can expect bigger things from Shell Energy Philippines Inc. as it focuses on delivering cleaner, flexible and innovative energy solutions to our commercial and industrial customers.”

There are no specific details yet on the scale of investments that the company will be injecting for power generation facilities; as well as the focus of technology that it will be leaning on for capacity installations – like if aside from renewable energy (RE) there would also be plan for the company to foray into gas-fired power generation.

But the kick-off investment of Shell in power generation is its 1.8-megawatt (DC) embedded solar power facility at its world-class oil import facility in Tabangao, Batangas.

Romero said the solar plant was commissioned December last year, and it is equipped with 5,220 solar panels; and it has already produced 84,000 kilowatt-hours to-date.

The solar farm, he said, “will support 10-percent of the Tabangao import facility’s annual power requirement, which may even reach 45-percent in the summer with the expected peak operation during the sunny months.”

The investment diversification thrust of the company, Romero added, is anchored on “Shell Group’s aspiration of being a net zero emissions energy business.”

In the downstream oil sector, Romero indicated that the company will be adding 50 to 70 sites into its retail portfolio this year.

“One of our key priorities is the continuous growth of our retail network. As of the end of December 2020, we have over a thousand retail sites nationwide. And with the increase in retail sales, especially during the last quarter of the year, it is reasonable to expect an additional 50 to 70 sites to open within 2021,” the Shell chief executive asserted.

The expanding retail network of the company is underpinned by the three medium-range oil import facilities in Tabangao, Batangas; Subic and the North Mindanao Import Facility in Cagayan de Oro, that will enable it to seamlessly and strategically supply the needs of consumers nationwide.

“Pilipinas Shell has been taking steps to reshape its portfolio into its most efficient iteration yet, Romero stressed, adding that “we will continuously seek to advance our offerings and drive innovation in our systems to satisfy our customers.”

Onward, Romero said the oil firm will “innovate and introduce new products and services, payment schemes and layout models” that are all geared towards the net-zero emissions goal of the company.