Petron Corp’s 180,000 barrels per day refinery — the only remaining such facility in the country — is set for reopening in June prompted by optimism on Covid-19 jab rollouts.
Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang on Tuesday said the company is confident about its prospects as the rollout of the country’s vaccination program advances.
Petron has committed to spend P3 billion to improve its refinery in the next five years after it secured approval from the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) to make its Bataan facility one of the registered enterprises of the freeport zone.
“With the country’s vaccination program gaining more ground, we feel confident about our prospects and have scheduled the resumption of our refining operations this June,” Ang said.
“As a company, we are doing all that we can to create a safe and healthy work environment while ensuring that our recovery stays on track. Petron is constantly evolving, and we will continue to work towards our goal of emerging stronger from this pandemic.”
Capacity for 40% of demand
Petron’s refinery in Bataan produces high-value petroleum products and petrochemicals capable of supplying 40 percent of domestic demand.
It was shut down in May last year to give way to maintenance activities on major process units and to mitigate the impact of low fuel demand and poor refining margins. It resumed operations in October.
Petron placed anew its Bataan refinery on economic plant shut down in February “considering that the refining business remains challenging both here and around the world.”
During the first quarter, Petron booked a net income of P1.73 billion in the first quarter, a reversal from a P4.9 billion loss.
Business taking off
It added that its performance in the first three months was an improvement from the P1.2 billion net income in the final quarter of last year.
“While Petron’s total sales performance for the first three months continued to improve compared to the average of the last three quarters of 2020, it still reflected the demand destruction from the pandemic,” the company said.