Petron aiming for cleaner production process at Bataan refinery

bataan refinery

Petron Corporation is set to build additional components in its 180,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Limay, Bataan as part of efforts to shift to cleaner technology and accelerate the transfer of goods, as stated in a project description report it submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 

Based on the report, the oil giant is planning to develop phase three of its refinery solid fuel boiler, a 500-meter fuel transfer line that will connect to the nearby SL Harbor Bulk Terminal Corporation and six other support facilities collectively called the “Petron Refinery Special Projects.” 

In its project description, Petron said the special projects target to “shift to cleaner technology in production of its steam and power requirements via replacing some of its old fuel [oil-fired] boilers.”

Petron also said that by building new transfer facilities, the transfer line they will use allows them to “alleviate the pier and tank utilization” within the Bataan refinery. 

Nonetheless, the company explained that the installation of the new components will not increase its production capacity. 

According to a notice from the DENR, Petron’s proposed refinery special projects will undergo public scoping on April 5. The public scoping is an early stage in the environment impact assessment process where the proponent will provide an overview of the proposed project, action, and other relevant information. 

Petron President and CEO Ramon Ang has committed to reopen the Bataan refinery in July despite the low fuel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This may be well-expected as President Rodrigo Duterte retained the provision in Republic Act 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, which exempts local oil refineries from paying taxes and duties on crude oil imports. 

This provision is seen to benefit Petron since the Bataan refinery — the country’s remaining facility of its kind — has been closed since February due to low margins triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and supposedly ”unfair” taxation.