PETRON Corp. (Petron), the country’s largest oil refiner and distributor, said it is open to the proposal of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) to reevaluate the properties leased by Petron from the oil company.
Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said in a recent interview that Petron is open to the PNOC proposal,
“but we will do a third-party valuation, fairness valuation, and valuation of value. Then we can talk.”
PNOC and Petron will hire separate third-party valuation firms to ensure a fair assessment, Ang said, adding that he will meet with PNOC President Reuben Lista to further discuss the proposal.
Petron used to be part of PNOC when the oil company was previously a government asset.
As part of the government’s privatization program, PNOC sought a strategic partner that would give Petron a reliable supply of oil, plus access to state-of-the-art refining technology. The result was a partnership with the world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Aramco.
On February 3, 1994, PNOC and Aramco Overseas Co. BV signed a share purchase agreement that gave both a 40-percent stake in Petron. The remaining 20 percent of Petron shares were sold to the public.
But Aramco as foreign company and under the Philippine law cannot own land so the real estate went to PNOC. In 2009, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) bought Petron and started managing it.
Today PNOC is seeking a reevaluation of the properties rented by Petron to see if the lease payments can be adjusted in order for the government to earn more from its assets.
In an earlier interview, Lista said he wanted to maximize the potential of PNOC assets to earn more for national coffers.
“The new PNOC will have a complete turnaround from the old ways of just waiting for money earned from the interest on our properties, shares from Malampaya, and rentals of government facilities. This is part of our job, to earn more for the government,” Lista said.
One of the ambitious projects PNOC is looking at is the construction of a PNOC Energy Center that will house all energy-related agencies and companies, just like Petronas Tower in Malaysia.
The proposed Energy Center will be built in a 5.2-hectare property located in Taguig City, which is one of Metro Manila’s emerging business districts.
The property is currently where the Department of Energy (DOE) and PNOC have their headquarters.
The other PNOC properties are the 19.22-hectare Energy Supply Base (ESB) in Mabini, Batangas; the 5.3-hectare former Batangas Coal Terminal Property; eight lots with an area of 7,597 square meters in Sta. Mesa, Manila; 11.89 hectares located in Pandacan, Manila; and 524 hectares located in Limay and Mariveles, Bataan.