Petron sees higher refinery efficiency

Published May 10, 2022, 5:20 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The expanded 184-megawatt on-the-fence power plant of Petron Corporation, to be completed this year, is seen to improve the operational efficiency of its petroleum refinery in Limay, Bataan which has a capacity of 180,000 barrels per stream day.

According to the giant oil firm, this “will allow the company to more efficiently generate steam and power for the Petron Bataan refinery.”

With improved efficiency, the oil company emphasized that this would make the country’s lone refinery not only capable of supplying 40 percent of the national fuel demand but also become self-sufficient in terms of its power requirement.

Petron injected P3.3 billion worth of capital for the 44MW capacity expansion of its existing 140MW power plant that has been serving the electricity requirements of its Bataan refinery. With that generation shoring up, the plant’s installed capacity will already be ramped up to 180MW.

As noted by Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang, “these initiatives and more are meant to ensure the growth and sustainability of our business in the years to come.”

With more efficient operations, the refinery will also be using less energy across its production chain, hence, cushioning its environmental impact.

Ang qualified then that “for us, the challenge ahead is not just to keep growing in terms of size but also to make a more significant impact in addressing environmental issues and building a better world for the next generations.”

The company chief executive indicated that when it comes to making tangible contribution to preserving the environment, “we know there is more to do, and we are fully committed to seeing this vision through.”

Petron’s facility is the “lone refinery” that the country has in this business segment of the downstream oil sector which is critical to ensuring the country’s energy security agenda – and the oil firm was thrown into that maverick role when its main industry rival Shell opted to shut down its refining operations in the country in 2020.

Yet as Petron waded through financial distress at the height of the pandemic in the past two years, compounded by layers of taxes that have been weighing down on its overall cost of doing business, the company has pursued registration as economic zone locator at the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) last year.

As AFAB-registered enterprise, Petron would be able to avail of fiscal incentives that are being dangled to ecozone locator-enterprises as underpinned by the provisions of the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995.

These include tax and duty-free importation of merchandise which include raw materials; capital equipment machineries and spare parts; exemption from export wharfage dues, export taxes, imposts and fees.

Further, as an ecozone business-locator, Petron will be entitled to value added tax-zero rating privileges for local purchases; as long as these are in compliance with the requirements of AFAB and that of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.