Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) said over the weekend that it is set to complete the transfer of its helicopter base from Puerto Princesa to the newly-inaugurated aircraft hangar of INAEC Aviation Corp. inside Lio Airport in El Nido and begin hangar operations soon.
By transferring the Malampaya helicopter base to the new 825-square-meter INAEC Hangar E2 in El Nido, the flight time for the transport of personnel to and from the offshore platform will be significantly reduced by over 70 percent.
“The relocation of the helicopter base from Puerto Princesa to El Nido offers significant benefits to Malampaya. Flight time is reduced from 55 minutes to 15 minutes, which means improved safety, reliability and efficiency of our operations,” said Kiril Caral, SPEX Managing Director.
The strategic position of INAEC Hangar E2 in El Nido also provides easier access to search and rescue resources including support from the Joint Task Force Malampaya, a composite team of the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy with support from the Philippine Coast Guard. This will help improve the security of the Malampaya offshore crew, especially in cases of offshore emergencies with shorter response times.
In 2013, INAEC partnered with SPEX and PHI International for the helicopter transport of Malampaya personnel from Puerto Princesa to the offshore platform.
Costing P45 million, the construction of INAEC Hangar E2 began in April 2021 and was completed in March of this year.
Meanwhile, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (Pilipinas Shell) and Northern Star Energy Corp. (Northern Star) have agreed to transform Northern Star’s existing sites in the area, into Shell branded Mobility stations. “This partnership will allow us to reach more customers and communities in La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and Mountain Province, in line with our commitment to serve the growing and evolving energy needs of every motoring customer and pedestrians alike,” said Randy del Valle, Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Mobility.
The oil firm has been shifting its retail business model from gas stations to mobility sites, which have more customer-centric offerings.
More than just a fuel site, the Shell Mobility station is a “destination that promises to create better customer journey experiences with an expanded range of products, full vehicle servicing, and even retail/lifestyle and food offerings targeted to each local market.”