Enhanced Reliability and Quality of Supply Through the Bitumen Production Facility
The year 2018 marked a milestone for Pilipinas Shell, as the country’s only Bitumen Production Facility has become operational. Pilipinas Shell is now fully capable of producing the main-grade (Bitumen PEN 60/70) and premium-grade (Polymer Modified Bitumen or PMB, branded as Shell Cariphalte). Previously, the Company imported all of its bitumen products.
As global economies continue to expand, the demand for bitumen will remain strong. The facility enables Pilipinas Shell to address the demand from both local and regional markets. Locally, the investment can suport the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program and at the same time export products to international customers through the Shell Group.
The bitumen production facility also improves the refinery’s flexibility by enabling the conversion of fuel oil output to bitumen, which is a more valuable product. This flexibility allows the Company to address market changes like the new regulation of the International Maritime Organization to lower the limit for sulfur content in fuel oil carried on ships to 0.5% from 3.5% starting January 2020.
Pilipinas Shell logged its first successful on-spec production in August 2018, and its first export sales to Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam in the last quarter of the year. The Company is also looking to serve other Asian countries.