PETRON Corp. (Petron), the country’s largest oil refiner and distributor, is considering putting up a new oil refinery in the Bicol Region to augment its expansion needs in the country, a top official said.
“Somewhere in the south to supply Bicol and maybe Visayas and Mindanao at 250,000 barrels a day oil refinery,” Petron president and CEO Ramon S. Ang told reporters in an interview on Thursday.
Petron is currently the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines and is also a leading player in the Malaysian market. It has a combined refining capacity of 268,000 barrels per day and produces a full range of world-class fuels and petrochemicals. It has over 2,800 service stations where it retails gasoline and diesel.
The planned oil refinery will double the refining capacity per day to more than 500,000 barrels.
“I hope to invite one of the big boys like Aramco or Kuwait Petroleum to come and put up new oil refineries because many big time companies want to put up an oil refinery here. One of the companies I want to invite here is Formosa Oil Refinery. It’s one of the biggest oil refineries in the region. They are ten times bigger than Petron,” Ang said.
He said he is convincing the Taiwan-based Formosa Oil to invest in the country, telling them, “Immediately we should put up one because after four years it will be finished by then, then the demand is already very big.”
“They are a good friend. William Wang, the owner of Formosa, is a good friend and is coming to visit us February. I went to visit them a couple of months ago, and we are in talks to look for more business together. William is the chairman of the group,” he added.
Ang explained that to put up an oil refinery of 250,000 barrels a day today will cost about $10 billion but if Petron will partner with Aramco, KPC, or Formosa it will be easy.
The existing Petron refinery in Bataan has no room for expansion, Ang said. “We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket,” he explained.
The oil company is now looking for available space in the Bicol Region and the alternative site is Cebu.
Ang said Cebu is good place to put up investments because of the huge market space.