Pilipinas Shell plans to fully automate fuel marking operation

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) is targeting to fully automate fuel marking in its Batangas refinery and Mindanao terminal by the end of the first quarter to ensure the safety of the implementation of the program.

PSPC said it conducted its fuel marking operations at its Northern Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF) in Cagayan de Oro City on Nov. 26, 2019 and its Tabangao Refinery in Batangas on Dec. 11, 2019.

As of Dec. 1, both the gasoline and diesel import tanks of NMIF’s 90-million-liter capacity were fully marked.

The company said the NMIF is the first terminal to implement fuel marking in Mindanao, while the refinery is the country’s first refinery to undergo the said program.

As the company complied with the government’s fuel marking program, PSPC said it is working “double-time” to install a fully automated injection system in both the NMIF and the refinery to help ensure safety in implementation.

The company has worked with fuel marking provider SGS-SICPA to implement a safer set of manual and semi-automated methods as a temporary measure. 

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the interests of all of our customers and stakeholders are safeguarded,” PSPC vice president for external and government relations Serge Bernal said.

“Our goal is to improve the safety of the process through automation. We’re aiming to fully automate the system at our refinery by end-March 2020,” he said.

Based on estimates by the Department of Finance and the Asian Development Bank, the loss of national revenue due to oil smuggling and misdeclaration can reach as high as P40 billion. 

The government’s fuel marking program establishes a system for identifying fuel that has paid the correct import and excise duties. It aims to plug revenue leakages from oil smuggling by placing a molecular marker on imported, manufactured and refined fuel products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

PSPC said it fully supports the government’s fuel marking program and continues to coordinate closely with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Energy to ensure the successful implementation of the program.

With the success of the said program, the oil firm said consumers can be assured that the fuel products they purchase in different sites in the country have passed the relevant government regulations.

“Pilipinas Shell supports the responsible development of the nation’s energy industry by protecting Filipinos’ fuel supply today and encouraging others to do the same,” the firm said.

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