Aramco eyes retail operation in Malaysia, Southeast Asia - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Aramco eyes retail operation in Malaysia, Southeast Asia

Aramco eyes retail operation in Malaysia, Southeast Asia

28 Dec 2023

Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest integrated energy and chemicals companies, is looking at expanding its downstream activities in Malaysia as it aims to make Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor the largest hub in Southeast Asia.

Aramco president (downstream), Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani said the company is excited about the Pengerang project and looking forward to not only sustaining the operation but also its potential expansion in the future.

Asked if the 90-year-old company was looking at retail operations in Southeast Asia, Mohammed said that is something that Aramco is currently doing globally.

“We always look at our assets to see any potential for upgrades, expansion and most importantly, converting liquids to chemicals.

“That will be something that we will be evaluating for the future,” he said in a recent interview with Bernama and selected media outlets from China, South Korea and Japan at Aramco’s headquarters here.

Citing Aramco’s recent 100 per cent equity acquisition of Esmax, a leading diversified downstream fuels and lubricants retailer in Chile, Mohammed said the move was part of the company’s strategy to expand retail, lubricants and trading businesses globally.

He said the acquisition would enable Aramco to enter the South American retail market, adding that the company’s downstream segment’s activities consist of refining petrochemicals, base oils and lubricants, retail operations, distribution, supply and trading as well as power generation.

These activities, he said, support Aramco’s upstream and downstream operations by enabling it to optimise crude oil sales and product placement through its significant infrastructure network of pipelines and terminals as well as access to shipping and logistics resources.

On the PIC, which is jointly developed with Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Mohammed noted that the facility is running at its full potential, improving reliability and profitability and securing the right platform for growth in the future.

During his visit to Riyadh last October, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that Aramco is committed to expanding its Pengerang facilities by adding petrochemical and gas downstream activities for it to become the largest hub in Southeast Asia.

He said the commitment was conveyed to him by Saudi Arabia’s Trade Minister Dr Majid Abdullah Alkassabi and the president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, Amin H Nasser.

Aramco had teamed up with Petronas to set up the Pengerang Refining Company Sdn Bhd and Pengerang Petrochemical Company Sdn Bhd, in Pengerang, Johor, with an investment of US$7 billion in the joint venture.

The PIC has a production capacity of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces a range of refined petroleum products, including low-sulphur jet fuel, motor gasoline and diesel that meets Euro 5 fuel specifications.

Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Aramco has crude oil reserves of about 197 billion barrels and currently employs about 70,000 people globally. 

Source: Bernama