Ramon also said the business in Malaysia “is stable and is guaranteed a return on invesment”. Petron Malaysia did not respond to queries by StarBiz at press time.
In August 2011, Petron president Eric Recto said the refiner would invest between US$700mil and US$1bil to upgrade the almost 50-year-old Port Dickson refinery, now operating at half optimal capacity of 88,000 barrels per day on average.
This was before shareholders rejected Petron’s MGO of RM3.50 per share.
The Port Dickson refinery upgrade is expected to mirror the US$2bil project to further upgrade and modernise Petron’s Bataan refinery in the Philippines into a full conversion plant that will expand production from 120,000 barrels per day to an optimum of 180,000 barrels per day and increase the mix of higher-value fuels and petrochemicals.
Besides that, the company has also committed an initial US$100mil to give the Port Dickson Refinery the capability to produce Euro 4-compliant fuels and another US$100mil to rebrand its retail stations nationwide.
San Miguel first inked a deal in 2011 with ExxonMobil to acquire the latter’s Malaysian listed 65% stake in Esso Malaysia and unlisted assets for a total US$610mil (RM1.82bil) via its unit Petron. Esso was subsequently renamed Petron Malaysia in July last year.
Petron currently owns 73.4% of Petron Malaysia via Petron Oil & Gas International Sdn Bhd following the unsuccessful attempt to privatise the company. For its six-months period ended June 30, Petron Malaysia recorded a net loss of RM12.9mil on the back of a revenue of RM5.5bil.