PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp.s (PSPC) upcoming import facility in Davao del Sur province, which broke ground on April 22 and expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2024, is seen to help stabilize fuel supply and prices in Mindanao, the countrys southern mainland.  

The project is a 50-50 joint venture between Northern Star Energy Corp. and DMCI Construction and Equipment Resources, Inc. (DMC-CERI), and will be leased exclusively to Shell.   

The Sta. Cruz Storage Corp. (SCSC) will operate the facility. 

Once operational, this facility will allow energy companies such as Shell Philippines to efficiently manage inventory and external volatility,DMC-CERI Chairman Isidro A. Consunji said during the groundbreaking ceremony.  

In doing so, they can mitigate or avoid sudden and dramatic price increases for our countrymen, particularly, those in Mindanao, he said.   

Located in Barangay Darong in Sta. Cruz town, the Darong Import Facility will have a capacity of 67 million liters.  

Mr. Consunji also said the venture will further boost the local economy of Sta. Cruz and its development as an industrial hub.  

The town is already host to several major firms such as San Miguel Brewery, Inc.; Aboitiz Powers Hedcor Sibulan, Inc.; and processed coconut products exporter Franklin Baker Company.   

DMC-CERI President Tulsidas C. Reyes said that once the Darong Import Facility is completed, it will be one of the biggest and most modern of its kind in Mindanao.  

It is also seen to provide fuel supply to ensure mobility during storms, floods, and other natural calamities. 

Kit M. Bermudez, Shell vice president for supply and distribution, said the facility will help protect the Philippines south from external challenges in the fuel supply industry.  

We can ensure that even if there are a lot of challenges with the Ukraine war and in the global economy, once we have a depot here definitely the availability of fuels will be more secure,he said.    

Meanwhile, Mr. Bermudez also announced that Shell is planning to establish more than 80 new Shell mobility sites in the southern part of Mindanao by 2025. 

We believe in the prospect of Mindanao. We are growing the business nationwide and Mindanao is one of the priorities in terms of expanding,he said. Maya M. Padillo