Refining

Petron refinery upgrade to be fully commercially operational this quarter

Petron Corp. said upgrading of its Lima, Bataan refinery in the Philippines will be fully commercially operational by the second quarter. Petron is the largest oil refiner and fuel retailer in the Philippines, supplying 40% of the country’s oil requirements and with 2,200 retail outlets.

The USD 2 billion upgrade was completed in 2014 and is currently undergoing performance guarantee test runs.

The test runs are intended “to establish the capabilities of the plant against the guaranteed yields and product qualities.”

The Bataan Refinery Master Plan 2 (RMP-2) is Petron’s single largest investment to date. The project, which took 44 months to complete from inception, transforms the Limay refinery into one of the most advanced in the region, in terms of processing, energy efficiency, operational availability and complexity, Petron said. It allows the refinery to fully utilize its production capabilities by converting fuel oil, which has a negative margin, to gasoline, diesel fuel and petrochemicals, which are high-margin products.

The refinery upgrade includes a 140-megawatt cogeneration plant, which will utilize petroleum coke — a fuel similar to coal, but with higher heating value — to provide power for the 180,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery.

Once fully operational, the refinery’s gasoline output will double to 36,000 bpd.

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