It will just be a matter of days or less before Petron temporarily shuts down this February its 180,000-barrel per day refinery in Limay, Bataan.
In a report by the Manila Standard, Petron President and CEO Ramon Ang confirmed over the weekend that the country’s only remaining oil refinery will be stopping operations this month despite its recent inclusion in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB).
“[Considering] that the refining business remains challenging both here and around the world, the plan for the refinery to undergo an economic plant shutdown early this year will still proceed,” the oil giant said in a recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Ang in January said that the shutdown would last for four months and would consider reopening the facility in July, depending on the prevailing economic conditions by then. The closure was first announced in December 2020 after his series of warnings stemming from taxation issues.
The refinery’s workers later appealed to the local government of Limay to lobby for the facility’s inclusion in the FAB to avert permanent closure. Being a freeport, the FAB enjoys tax incentives, which would help Petron make its refining business more competitive by improving its financial viability in the long run.
Petron, the country’s largest oil firm, plans to invest nearly Php3 billion to help improve the refinery’s integrated operations over the next five years.
Both Petron and the Department of Energy have assured that oil supply would remain stable despite the shutdown.