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December 29, 2015

Volume 7 Issue 9

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Shell Exits Pandacan

Shell, the last refiner at Manila’s Pandacan oil depot, finished demolishing its facilities there last month, bringing to a close a decade-long fight about the use of the property.

Once a conduit for much of the lubricants and fuels consumed in the country, the site is slated to be redeveloped for commercial use.

A Shell spokesman confirmed that the company completed demolition of its facilities on Nov. 23, in compliance with an order from the Philippines’ Supreme Court. The company moved some operations but will not rebuild a lubricant blending plant that it operated at the depot.

“It is not financially viable to build such new facilities elsewhere in Manila,” the spokesman said. “We have made arrangements locally and regionally to ensure continued supply to our customers.”

The depot’s other occupants, Petron and Chevron, had already exited the site and transferred operations to other locations within the country.

Since at least 2001, some residents and community activists had pushed to close the depot, arguing that it posed a security risk to the residential development that had grown in the surrounding area. City leaders took different sides during that time. In 2009, the Manila City Council designed the site for commercial development, but a subsequent ordinance reversed that decision.

In November 2014, the Supreme Court declared the latter ordinance void and ordered the oil companies to vacate the depot.