Shell upgrades Batangas refinery for Euro IV standards
MANILA, Philippines – Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation completed its upgrade of its refinery in Batangas in anticipation of the government’s planned adoption of new fuel standards.
Shell Country Chairman Ed Chua said the upgrade was completed on December 4 and that it will continue 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 magtutuloy-tuloy ito (It will go through without problems)," he said.
The upgrade to the 110,000-barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Tabangao, Batangas was done to meet the new Euro IV standards that will take effect in 2016. An upgraded refinery will allow the oil firm to produce fuel that comply with the standards.
Euro IV is a kind of fuel that has less sulfur content than more commonly-used fuel. Less sulfur content means less particles emitted by a vehicle using the fuel. Ultimately, this leads to less air pollution. (READ: The solution to PH air pollution)
The upgrade also opens the door to Shell’s long-delayed plans for an initial public offering (IPO).
Earlier, the Department of Energy (DOE) said that Shell submitted to them its IPO plans, with Melita Obillo, director of the agency's Oil Industry Management Bureau saying that the IPO will likely take place after the upgrade of its refinery.
Asked for an update on 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."
"There are 5 presidential candidates and the competition is neck to neck. People are saying that they don’t know who to vote for yet and maybe it's better to wait and see so we can determine the next Cabinet and what kind of policies will be implemented," he added.
The Shell official said it "could be better" to conduct the IPO after elections, although he added that, "we cannot say before or after because we have to see the environment at that time."
The DOE has been urging Shell to push through with its IPO for years since it received the mandate under the Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998.
The act states that an oil company must list in the local bourse at least 10% of its shares within 3 years from the effectivity of the law. This means that Shell’s IPO should have been completed by 2002. – Rappler.com