THE Board of Investments (BoI) has approved the registration of Seaoil Philippines, Inc.’s four storage-tank oil depot in Davao del Sur with a total capacity of 36.9 million liters of both gasoline and diesel fuels.
In a statement on Tuesday, the BoI said Seaoil’s P287-million project had qualified for bulk marketing of petroleum products, which is under the Investment Priorities Plan Special Laws list pertaining to Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Regulation Act of 1994.
“This combined capacity is actually more than enough to accommodate the average daily requirement of 73 million liters of fuel nationwide. The additional storage capacity of fuel means additional supply of fuel may allow the company to efficiently manage its inventory levels and avoid external shocks that could lead to oil price hikes or at the very least mitigate its price increase in several parts of Mindanao,” said Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Trade undersecretary and BoI managing head.
The BoI said the approved activity, which started operations in September 2018, provides an additional 36.9 million liters of gasoline and diesel to its existing 41.050 million liters of storage in southern Mindanao. The increase translates to a total capacity of 78.150 million liters of fuel.
BoI said Seaoil had been offering one of the lowest per-liter prices of fuel in the southern part of the Philippines. With the additional depot capacity, Seaoil said its diesel prices could drop about 10%, or around P5 cheaper than prevailing prices.
RA 8479 deregulates the downstream oil industry and ensures a competitive market “under a regime of fair prices, adequate and continuous supply of environmentally clean and high-quality petroleum products by encouraging the participation of new oil industry players through the provision of incentives.”
BoI also said Petron Corp. had announced that it was on track to expand the capacity of its oil refinery complex in Bataan from the present 180,000 barrels to around 270,000-300,000 barrels a day by end-2022.
The capacity expansion addresses the strong fuel demand in the coming years, it said. It follows Petron’s P82-billion investment in condensate processing in the same area that received the BoI nod.
At the same time, the BoI approved the application of Balayan Bay Batangas Development, Inc. (BBBDI) as a new manufacturer of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate, coconut fatty alcohol sulfate, and sodium lauryl ether sulfate with a total sulfonation capacity of 40,000 metric tons per year.
The P820-million oleochemicals project is located at the Phoenix Petrochemicals and Industrial Park in Calaca, Batangas. Its commercial operations started in October 2018 with 102 personnel.
Mr. Rodolfo said the products to be produced by BBBDI would serve as a cost-efficient substitute to previously imported oleochemicals.
“Local produce means shorter order-to-delivery lead time, better quality, better pricing and more flexibility,” he said.
He added that local oleochemicals are now able to produce more derivatives and downstream products, which is “a giant step” in building a more integrated industry. — Victor V. Saulon