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Petron Corp. announces plan to further expand Limay oil refinery in Philippines

Petron Corp. announced that it will further expand the capacity of its oil refinery in Limay, Bataan, the Philippines by an additional 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) at an estimated cost of USD 3.5 billion.

Last November, the listed firm said it was evaluating the next phase of its “refinery upgrade and expansion aimed at increasing production of high-margin fuels and petrochemicals,” as well as expanding its logistics and retail network in the Philippines and Malaysia. Initially, the company said that it was considering building a grassroots refinery in the southern Philippines.

Petron Corp. is the country’s largest oil refining and fuel marketing company and is one of only two oil refiners in the Philippines, the other one being Pilipinas Shell. Both the Petron and Shell refineries are located in the northern island of Luzon.

Petron supplies almost 40% of the country’s oil requirements and has a combined retail network of almost 2,900 service stations, more than a fifth of which are located in Malaysia. Since 2012, the company has rebranded the Esso stations it purchased from ExxonMobil and has built an extensive retail network of nearly 600 stations in Malaysia. Petron purchased ExxonMobil’s Port Dickson refinery and its Esso-branded retail network in 2011.

This newly announced expansion will increase the refinery’s capacity to 270,000 bpd from the current 180,000 bpd, Petron President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said. Completion of the expansion is expected by 2019 or 2020.

The Petron Bataan Refinery (PBR), which was originally inaugurated in 1961 with a capacity of 25,000 bpd, is an integrated crude oil refinery and petrochemicals complex. It processes crude oil into a full range of petroleum products including gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), jet fuel, kerosene, and industrial fuel oil. The refinery also produces petrochemical feedstock benzene, toluene, mixed xylene, and propylene.

Last year, Petron commissioned its upgraded refinery in Bataan, significantly increasing its fuel and petrochemical production. The cost of this upgrade was USD 2 billion.