Home » Ports/Terminals » Petron’s oil terminal outside scope of modernization plan

PETRON Corp’s planned bunkering and refueling station at the Manila North Harbor may be facing a few problems.

An initial Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) assessment showed such a facility is not part of the 25-year development and modernization plan entered into by the agency and the Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI) in 2009.

Petron is a subsidiary of San Miguel Corp, the new joint venture partner of Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc in MNHPI. MNHPI operates the North Harbor.

PPA port district manager for Luzon engineer Constante Fariñas said an amendment to the plan is needed to accommodate the construction of the oil terminal.

“It is not that easy particularly if the said development is not part of the original and approved plan,” Farinas said.

“However, PPA is not saying no to the development but it all depends on how MNHPI will be able to convince PPA and its Board to give its nod,” Fariñas explained.

“A thorough study is needed for the project,” Farinas, who is former port manager of the North Harbor and vice chair of the special bids and awards committee on the privatization of the North Harbor—now known as North Port—added.

Based on the plan submitted by MNHPI to PPA, three to five hectares near Isla Putting Bato will be set aside to house Petron’s proposed logistics and bunkering facility and San Miguel Corp’s cement silo.

PPA said it will concentrate first on the original modernization plan divided into three phases: Phase I involves construction of the container terminal; Phase II, the development of the passenger terminal building; and Phase III construction of a terminal for conventional cargoes.

It will also focus on the provision of reefer vans and livestock cargoes.

The new joint venture partners have so far invested P1 billion for the procurement and installation of equipment at the North Harbor. Another P1 billion will be sunk in for the construction of the interim passenger terminal in Pier 4, the facility earlier maintained by Aboitiz Transport System.

This year, MNHPI is looking at a 4% growth for containerized cargoes while maintaining a modest growth in passenger volume. The port handles about 800,000 TEUs annually.

PLSA petition dismissed

In another development, the Supreme Court last week dismissed the petition filed by the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) seeking nullification of the 25-year North Harbor management and operations contract awarded to MNHPI.

The High Tribunal said PLSA failed to comply with the rule on hierarchy of courts when it filed a petition directly before the SC.

“The Court resolves to dismiss the petition for raising substantially factual issues and for failure to adduce any compelling reason to warrant petitioner’s disregard of judicial hierarchy in accordance with Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended,” the Court said.

But the SC explained the dismissal was without prejudice to the refiling of the same case with the proper court.

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