Petron suspends Bataan refinery operations due to Luzon quake

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — Major oil company Petron has suspended operations in its refinery in Limay town in Bataan after a strong earthquake in Luzon on Monday.

“The earthquake triggered the protective tripping of certain refinery units resulting in the emergency shutdown. This was followed by flaring of gases, which is an important safety measure in refinery facilities, due to the absence of an alternative power supply,” Petron said Thursday in a statement.

Petron said its Bataan facility, which is the country’s largest integrated crude oil refinery and petrochemicals complex, was preparing for a regular total plant turnaround from May 1 for maintenance work, but this has been carried out in advance after the tremor.

“The turnaround will allow us to perform regular maintenance and repair for all process units, as well as assess any possible damage caused by the earthquake,” it said.

Despite the suspension of activities in the refinery, Petron said it has enough supply to meet demand.

According to disaster management officials, the magnitude 6.1 quake left 16 dead, 86 injured and 14 missing in Central Luzon. It's epicenter was in Castillejos, Zambales.