U.S. Trade and Development Agency

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    CONTACT:  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                         (703) 875-4357


ustda grant supports the development of the petrochemical industry in THE Philippines


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – (September 16, 2005) The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a $570,000 grant yesterday to Petron Corporation, the largest oil refining company in the Philippines, to partially fund a feasibility study for the development of a benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX) recovery and extraction unit. 


Ms. Judy Reinke, Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Manila signed an agreement to officially confer the grant on behalf of the U.S. government.  Mr. Khalid D. al-Faddagh, President and Chief Executive Officer, signed the agreement on behalf of Petron. 


This study will include a basic engineering design for the construction of a new BTX recovery unit that will allow Petron to recover benzene and toluene, as well as increase its mixed-xylene production and recovery capabilities.  These petrochemicals will be extracted from Petron’s own gasoline component production.  This unit will further enhance Petron’s capability to meet more stringent gasoline quality requirements under the Philippine Clean Air Act, while providing the company with the aromatic petrochemicals, BTX, which it can sell to domestic and regional markets.  The USTDA grant will supplement the resources that Petron is allocating for the study.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.