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Philippines' Petron says Bataan refinery back to normal operations

[MANILA] Petron Corp, the Philippines' only oil refiner, said on Tuesday its 180,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Bataan refinery had resumed its normal operations last month, having been shut down since May.

Petron had previously said it would restart the refinery operations on Sept 1. It closed the facility for maintenance and to mitigate the financial impact of lean fuel demand and poor margins due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Petron is now the only Philippine refiner after Royal Dutch Shell in August announced its decision to transform its 110,000-bpd Tabangao facility in Batangas province into an import terminal.

The company said it intends to keep its Philippine refinery running but hopes to get government support via tax relief.

"Under the current regime, refiners are faced with the burden of paying so much more taxes than importers, making it more difficult for us to preserve the viability of operating a refinery in the country," Petron president and CEO Ramon Ang said in a statement.

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Last week, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said his department was looking into Petron's taxation concerns in coordination with the finance ministry.

Cusi also said the government was evaluating how the closure of Petron's refinery would impact pricing and the country's energy security.


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