April 23, 2022 [manilastandard.net] – Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. broke ground on its third largest import facility in Darong, Southern Mindanao costing P1.7 billion that aims to provide a more stable, undisrupted supply of energy in the region.
The Darong import facility, which has a rated capacity of 67 million liters of petroleum products, is scheduled to be operational by the third quarter of 2024.
Serge Bernal, PSPC vice president for corporate relations, said Southern Mindanao is a strategic growth location for the company.
“The Darong import facility will allow us to fulfill our commitment to support economic activities as the Philippines continues to recover from COVID-19. It strengthens our capacity to continue to deliver quality fuels to our customers, consistent with our organization growth plans,” said Bernal.
The facility is a 50-50 joint venture between Northern Star Energy Corp. and DMCI Construction and Equipment Resources Inc. (DMC-CERI), the leading engineering-based integrated construction company that will build the facility.
Sta. Cruz Storage Corp. (SCSC) will design, construct and operate the facility for Shell with an exclusive-use arrangement for a term contract and an option to extend.
The Darong import facility will also help and promote business continuity and stability in the area, providing resources for mobility during incidents of storms, floods and other natural calamities.
It is the third-largest import facility in the PSPC network of terminals, which includes the Shell Import Facility Tabangao in Batangas with a 263-million-liter capacity, the North Mindanao Import Facility in Cagayan de Oro City with a 90-million-liter capacity and the Subic Import Terminal, northwest of the National Capital Region, with a 54-million-liter capacity.
Meanwhile, PSPC plans to establish more than 80 new Shell mobility sites in Southern Mindanao by 2025.
The Shell sites are designed to enhance customer experience, offer both fuel and non-fuel products, enable more forms of transportation, and lower carbon footprint through innovation.
Santa Cruz Mayor and engineer Jaime Lao, Jr. welcomed the establishment of the Darong Import Facility in his community, saying Santa Cruz is a first-class municipality that is investor-friendly.
DMC CERI chairman Isidro Consunji said the global pandemic exposed the vulnerability of supply chains and the need for more resilient infrastructure.
He said with or without a pandemic, the Philippines needs adequate and affordable fuel supply to sustain the economy, address poverty and improve the quality of life.
“This fuel depot project (Darong Import Terminal) can bring our country closer to achieving all that,” Consunji said.
DMC CERI president Tulsidas Reyes echoed the optimism, saying that once the Darong Import Facility is completed, the fuel storage facility will be one of the biggest and most modern of its kind in Mindanao.
“It will also generate and promote economic activities in the area which is aligned with the belief of DMC CERI in investing in the countryside where it can create the most social impact,” said Reyes said.
On the part of Northern Star and SCSC chief operating officer Juan Miguel Delgado said the project will help provide Southern Mindanao with access to the highest quality fuel products to support economic activities as the region strives to recover from the pandemic.
PSPC vice president for supply and distribution Kit Bermudez said the company believes in the growth prospects of Mindanao.
“We are witness to how Mindanao is growing and it is just apt that we provide them with the fuel storage for their growth,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez said that with this project, they also hope to energize the community and create opportunities for growth.
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