MALAYSIA: Petronas to build RM60 billion energy complex in Johor

Petronas will construct a US$20 billion (RM60 billion) integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Southern Johor to be commissioned by end-2016, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Friday.

The project, known as the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (Rapid), is at the detailed feasibility study stage and would comprise a crude oil refinery, a naphtha cracker that would produce about three million tonnes of ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 olefins per year and a petrochemicals and polymer complex that would produce differentiated and highly-specialised chemicals.

"This project is indeed a bold undertaking by Petronas, for I am told the proposed 300,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery capacity is larger than the combined capacities of Petronas' existing refineries in Malacca and Kerteh.

"The proposed petrochemical development also exceeds that of Kerteh and Gebeng Integrated Petrochemical Complexes in eastern peninsula Malaysia, combined.

"While Rapid is not one of the entry point projects (EPP) outlined within the ambit of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), much of what Petronas is setting out to do is in line with the Government's aspirations to turn Malaysia into a leading petroleum industry hub in the region," Najib added.

He said the projects presented Malaysia with a major vehicle by which to attract foreign direct investments into the country, bolster private investment and expand the country's access to world-class technologies.

The employment opportunities created during the construction phase of the project would of course be much larger than the estimated 20,000 jobs and not to mention the many other spin-offs that would be created in related sectors of the economy, he added.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)