Petron Corporation’s refinery in Limay, Bataan may have been given a shot in the arm with the announcement of its inclusion in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) on Friday (January 8), but the company’s President and CEO Ramon Ang said that he is still pushing through with the facility’s shutdown.
Ang pushed the economic shutdown to February from the originally scheduled mid-January. He eyes the closure to last for four months before making a final decision on what to do with the 180,000-barrel per day refinery.
Nonetheless, Ang hopes that economic conditions would improve, so that operations would re-start by July.
Both the Department of Energy and Petron have assured that oil supply would remain stable despite the shutdown.
Petron initially announced the closure of the country’s only remaining refinery last month citing losses mostly due what it deems as unfair taxation. Following an appeal from refinery workers to the local government of Limay, Petron registered the refinery with the FAB to help improve its financial situation, as economic zones enjoy tax incentives. Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi also expressed support for the refinery’s reclassification as part of the freeport.
The FAB also said that Petron is committed to invest an additional Php3 billion within five years that can create more jobs for the residents of Limay and nearby towns. It also hopes that the oil firm’s being a registered enterprise of the freeport would help “reinvigorate” the investment in the area.
Under Section 2 of Republic Act 11453, the AFAB, with the consent of concerned Bataan local government units, and concerned national government entities, can establish special economic zones within the province and include them in the FAB. Petron’s refinery would be the FAB’s 12th expansion site.
Photo from Petron/Oil&Gas Journal.