MANILA – Petron Corp, the Philippines’ only oil refiner, said on Tuesday it would suspend operations at its 180,000-barrel-per-day Bataan refinery beginning next month to minimise losses from weak refining margins.
The announcement comes four months after the Philippine unit of Royal Dutch Shell decided to transform its 110,000-bpd Tabangao facility in Batangas province into an import terminal, saying the refining business was no longer economically viable.
Several oil refiners around the world have cut output or shutter operations as demand had collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspension will start by the second half of January, Petron told the Philippine Stock Exchange. It did not disclose any timetable for resuming the refinery operations.
Petron, a unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp, said the refinery will undergo maintenance during the shutdown, which it said will not have an impact on domestic supply.
“There will be no supply disruption as a result of the shutdown given the healthy inventory of the company and the replenishment by the company of its supply through the importation of finished products,” it said.
Just last month, Petron had said it intended to keep its Philippine refinery running but expressed hopes to get government support via tax relief. – Reuters