Petron Corp., Mandaluyong City, Philippines, has started up major units that form part of the $2 billion Refinery Master Plan 2 (RMP-2) upgrade project at its 180,000-b/d Bataan refinery at Limay, about 150 km southwest of Manila.
The company commenced crude oil feed into the new Vacuum Pipestill 2 on Sept. 30 and plans to commission additional units in the coming weeks, Petron said both in an Oct. 12 posting to its Facebook account and an Oct. 13 notice filed with the Philippines Stock Exchange Inc. (PSE).
RMP-2, which includes a total of 19 new units, is scheduled to begin full commercial operation by early 2015, according to Petron, who began the project in 2011 to boost Bataan’s production capacities and make the plant more competitive in the Asia-Pacific region (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2014; Jan. 17, 2012).
In a May 12 presentation to investors, Petron said the RMP-2 expansion was nearly completed and due to begin commercial operation during this year’s fourth quarter.
Designed to help ensure fuel supply security in the Philippines by lessening dependence on imports, RMP-2 will enable the Bataan refinery to run at full processing capacity by allowing it to convert current negative margin fuel oil into higher-value fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and petrochemicals, the company said in a May 20 disclosure to PSE.
“Once [RMP-2 is] completed, Petron will be able to supply more premium fuels at a time when the Philippines is experiencing unprecedented economic growth,” said Ramon S. Ang, Petron’s chairman and chief executive officer.
The project also will equip the refinery with the flexibility to expand the quality and sources of crude supplies processed at the site, according to Ang.
In addition to the building of new units and upgrades to existing installations, RMP-2 also involves a Logistics Master Plan (LMP) that further integrates Petron’s supply chain in order to better meet its customers’ fuel needs.
The LMP will include construction of new storage tanks in strategic locations at the refinery, as well as modernization of a trucking fleet for improved product transportation, Petron said.
Following the full commissioning of RMP-2, Petron will be the only oil company in the Philippines capable of locally producing more stringent and environment-friendly Euro 4 quality fuels as required by 2016 under a mandate from the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, according to Petron.