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Petroleum Products Including Petrochemicals

The petroleum products including petrochemicals industry is one of the leading industries in Malaysia, covering natural gas, petroleum products, and petrochemical products. The O&G sector in general contributed 14.5 per cent to the country’s GDP and an estimated 14.7 per cent to the Government’s revenues in 2016. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), the national O&G company, has been recognised as a Fortune Global 500 company for the past 21 years.

It is also the industry that has attracted the greatest level of DDI in 2017, amounting to RM25.6 billion out of RM26 billion in approved investments across 10 projects that created 1,949 job opportunities. Half of the projects approved were new projects amounting to RM23.7 billion, while expansion/diversification projects totalled RM2.2 billion.

Currently, Malaysia produces approximately 73.8 billion cubic metres of natural gas per day and 705 thousand barrels of crude oil per day. Malaysia also has the world's largest production facility of LNG at a single location, with an annual production capacity of up to 29.3 million metric tonnes.

The increasing number of plants (and hence production capacity) in Malaysia has transformed the country from being a net importer of major petrochemical products to being a net exporter. Since 1980, Malaysia has approved approximately 400 projects related to the petroleum products including petrochemical industry, with a total investment of around RM207.6 billion.

Major petrochemical companies in Malaysia include PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad, Lotte Chemical Titan (M) Sdn. Bhd., BASF PETRONAS Chemical Sdn. Bhd., Toray Group, Kaneka Group, and Idemitsu, among others.

The petroleum products including petrochemicals industry has benefitted from the overall drop of oil prices over the past few years. The industry is expected to grow moderately in 2018, as companies respond to stabilising oil prices and continuing access to low cost of feedstock.

Long term availability and reliability of feedstock at competitive prices has made Malaysia a viable petrochemical hub in the region. Additionally, long term and sustainable demand is supported by beneficial demographics in the various new and emerging markets. The Pengerang Integrated Petrochemical Complex (PIPC) is set to highlight Malaysia’s status as a global leader in the petrochemical products industry. The petrochemical projects under PIPC will enable companies to better assess and exploit their opportunities in manufacturing downstream-intermediate and speciality chemicals, which provide greater returns and higher value exports.

In order to stay competitive and relevant, extensive R&D in various fields such as specialty and green petrochemical products, alternative petrochemical feedstock, innovation on nano-scale petrochemical products and derivatives need to be prioritised.


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Last Updated : Wednesday 17th July 2019