Philippines' Petron to expand Bataan refinery, triple C3 output

13 April 2011 07:23  [Source: ICIS news]

Flaring at PetronBy Lee Hanmin and Nurluqman Suratman

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Philippine energy major Petron is investing $1.8bn (€1.24bn) at its refinery complex in Limay, Bataan, to beef up its capacity to produce high-margin products, including propylene (C3), a company official said on Wednesday.

Petron will upgrade the conversion capabilities of its refinery to yield more liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, diesel, and petrochemicals, the official said.

Its current propylene production will be tripled, based on the company’s plan unveiled on 6 April. The company runs a 140,000 tonne/year propylene recovery unit at its Bataan production site.

The refinery expansion called RMP-2  is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, the Petron official said.

South Korea’s Daelim Industrial was tapped to help out in the construction, having received an order for an oil-refining plant projects worth $318m from Petron.

"Daelim received the notice to proceed for detailed design & engineering, procurement service and offshore procurement, and the main contract will be concluded on a lump-sum turnkey base project in the near future,” the South Korean firm said in a statement on Monday.

The planned expansion will “double [Petron’s] refining complexity” and enable it to compete more effectively with other refineries in the Asia-Pacific region, Petron said in a statement last week.

“Petron’s operational efficiency will also significantly improve as the project allows the 'full conversion' of all remaining black streams into high-margin white products and petrochemicals,” Petron said in the statement.

The Bataan complex, located 150 kilometres southwest of Manila, houses a 180,000 bbl/day refinery, a Petro Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (PetroFCC) unit that has a conversion capacity of 19,000 bbl/day, as well as an aromatics facility that can produce 150,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 22,800 tonnes/year of toluene and 220,000 tonnes/year of mixed xylene.

With the planned upgrades, the refinery will also be able to “digest” a wider range of crude oils, including from African sources, giving it greater flexibility to source cost-efficient crude types, Petron said in the statement.

Petron will be able to produce fuels that meet global clean air standards (Euro 5) once the upgrades are completed, it said.

The company is looking at Axens, UOP, CBI Lummus, Foster Wheeler to be its partners that will provide technology and engineering services for the refinery project.

The expansion is in line with the aim of ensuring Petron’s growth momentum over the long-term through integration of its petrochemicals business and increasing its presence in the export market, the company said.

Additional reporting by Pearl Bantillo

($1 = €0.69)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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