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Philippine oil and refining company Petron Corporation has secured regulatory approval for its plan to build a coconut methyl ester plant in the country, Business World reported.

In a regulatory filing, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved an amendment to Petron’s articles of incorporation that would allow it to construct and operate a coconut methyl ester plant and secure relevant permits for the project, the 4 January report said.

Petron said the SEC’s approval would amend the company’s primary purpose under its second article of incorporation, allowing the inclusion of biofuels in its business.

The company was quoted as saying that the amendment would allow it to “acquire, store, hold, transport, use, experiment with, market, distribute, exchange, sell and otherwise dispose of, import, export, handle, trade, and generally deal in, refine, treat, reduce, distil, manufacture, produce, and smelt, as applicable, any and all kinds of petroleum and petroleum products, oil, gas and other volatile substances.”

In August, Petron received backing from its board of directors to include biofuels in the company’s portfolio, while its stockholders, representing 75.93% of the total outstanding capital stock of the company, approved the proposed amendment in October.

Petron is the operator of the only remaining refinery in the country that provides 40% of local petroleum requirements. Its refinery in Bataan produces 180,000 barrels/day.

With a combined refining capacity of 268,000 barrels/day, Petron produces a range of fuels and petrochemicals, operates about 50 terminals in the region and has around 2,700 service stations that sell gasoline and diesel.