Petronas and Versalis in petrochemical joint venture
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has partnered Italy-based petrochemical company, Versalis SpA to set up elastomer plants within Petronas’ RM60 billion proposed refinery and petrochemical integrated development (Rapid) complex in Pengerang, Johor.
The two parties signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) last Tuesday to jointly own, develop, build and operate the plants. Petronas Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice-President for Downstream Business, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin and Versalis Chief Executive Officer, Daniele Ferrari signed on behalf of their respective companies.
Versalis, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eni SpA, an Italian multinational oil and gas company, will make available its technology, ample experience and expertise to the joint venture, which will further enhance Petronas and Malaysia’s position as a major downstream petrochemical company in the region.
Petronas had earlier signed three other agreements with BASF of Germany, Japan’s Itochu Corp and Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical Public Co Ltd for the production of high value-added downstream chemicals.
Petronas is now in the midst of picking other potential partners and licensors for the different facilities to be set up within Rapid.
To-date, the proposed Rapid complex is the largest liquid-based green-field downstream project being carried out in the country.
Its refinery will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels a day to supply the downstream activities in the petrochemical complex.
It will also produce a variety of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, which will comply with Euro 4 and Euro 5 fuel specifications.
With the Rapid complex, Petronas will be well-positioned to diversify from commodity petrochemicals to premium differentiated and specialty chemicals, tapping on the rising demand for these higher value products in the Asia-Pacific.
Adapted from NST Business times and StarBiz 20 July 2012
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