PNOC weighing oil refinery investment proposal at Bataan facility


At a glance

    State-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is weighing the proposal of at least three investors that have been eyeing to put up an oil refinery at its property in Bataan, so it can augment the country’s fuel requirements.

    “We have proponents - there are investors talking to us about our Bataan property and they’re planning to put up a small oil refinery,” PNOC President and CEO Oliver B. Butalid has divulged in an interview.

    He emphasized that the company has a 530-hectare property straddling Limay and Mariveles towns in Bataan hosting petrochemical facilities – and there are still portions that had not been leased yet for projects, so PNOC is considering to offer that as prospective site for the proposed oil refinery.

    Butalid indicated the propounded petroleum refinery will just be a small-scale facility which could have potential yield of 30,000 liters on a daily basis.

    He reiterated at least three investor-groups have already approached PNOC, but we are still studying the overall potential of the project. The three companies were not named yet pending decision that the state-run company has yet to render on their project-proposals.

    One of the interested investors, he specified, had already communicated to PNOC its plan that for the refinery output, it will be sold to end-users in the Philippines.

    “They will sell locally, so what they will do is: they will import crude and process it at the refinery; then sell the output to the domestic market,” Butalid said.

    He added “with that proposed project, of course we’re happy because that will mean higher storage and additional supply that the domestic market can lean on.”

    The PNOC chief executive similarly stated that if the refinery project will eventually be given its chance to materialize, one of the key objectives of the government-owned firm will be to have its influence on pricing, no matter how little the capacity that it would be infusing into market.

    “Hopefully, it can improve the price – what we intend is: we will have some participation in terms of petroleum product pricing,” he stressed.

    The proposed site, Butalid narrated, was previously considered by PNOC as the location for the on-and-off plan to have a strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) in the country – which was also a subject of study under the past Duterte administration.

    Butalid expounded that under the Marcos leadership, it was already stated clearly by Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla that any plan for oil stockpile shall be given as investment discretion to the private sector.