SINGAPORE – The Philippines' biggest oil refiner Petron Corp is conducting partial maintenance at its 180,000 barrels-per-day refinery, industry sources said on Monday.
The company has been shutting several secondary units for maintenance on a staggered basis since the end of last week for two weeks, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
It is not known which units are affected at the refinery in Limay, Bataan, but they are said to be downstream units used to produce oil products from heavy to light distillates.
Downstream processing at a refinery usually involves the processing of heavy, low-valued feedstock - often itself the output from an earlier process - and changing it into lighter, higher-valued oil products, including diesel and gasoline.
"As the maintenance is done on a staggered basis, the disruption to production is expected to be minimal," the source added.
A Petron spokesman declined to comment.
In early April, the company announced that it plans to expand the refinery by the end of 2014, to enable the processing of a wider range of crude oil including from African sources, and to increase the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, diesel and petrochemicals.
The expansion will also enable the refinery to produce Euro 5 quality fuels in order to improve air quality in the country, the company has said.
Petron has been actively seeking diesel in the spot market, buying at least three diesel cargoes for delivery in May, compared with one cargo in the two previous months.
It has also bought two jet fuel cargoes, for delivery in June.
Earlier this month, Royal Dutch Shell's 110,000 barrels-per-day Tabangao refinery in Batangas, Philippines, was undergoing planned maintenance, which has not been completed, industry sources said. (Reuters)