Thursday, 5 April 2012

Petronas: RAPID project progressing as scheduled

KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): Petroliam Nasional Bhd said its proposed proposed Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, to be located in Pengerang, Johor, is progressing as scheduled.

In a statement Thursday, the national oil company said RAPID’s proposed refinery would have a capacity of 300,000 barrels per standard day and will supply feedstock for RAPID’s petrochemical complex as well as produce gasoline and diesel that meet European specifications.

The RAPID project aims to capitalise on the growing need for specialty chemicals and to meet the demand for petroleum and commodity petrochemical products in the Asia Pacific region by 2016, it said.

Petronas said the project that was first announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak on May 13 last year, had achieved several important milestones in the past few months.

It said that following the announcement, a detailed feasibility study on the proposed project was undertaken, and completed in October 2011.

“The project has since progressed to a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) stage, while at the same time Petronas is finalising the selection of potential partners and licensors for the various facilities within the project.

“The site topographical survey and soil investigation work have been completed, while the Environmental Impact Assessment Study (EIA) is currently being performed,” it said.

Petronas said it recently signed a Heads of Agreement with BASF to jointly own, develop, construct and operate production facilities for specialty chemicals and plants for precursor materials within the RAPID complex.

These world-scale facilities will be undertaken on a 40:60 basis, it said.

Progress is also made in the various other technical and commercial aspects of the proposed project for PETRONAS to reach its final investment decision (FID) in the middle of 2013.

“Except for pre-FID works, no other contract has been tendered out or awarded, Petronas will begin pre-qualification exercise for various tender packages for the project in stages, the earliest of which is expected to be held in the third quarter of this year.

“On the human resource side, preparation is being made to ensure the availability of qualified and trained personnel to work at the various plants and facilities within the RAPID complex,” it said.

Petronas said RAPID’s implementation had the potential of turning Southern Johor into a new refining and petrochemical centre in Malaysia, complementing the existing complexes in the country’s eastern corridors.

“It will also create multiple economic spin-offs and a new generation of oil and petrochemical professionals that will drive the development of this sector further, in line with the government’s aspirations to turn Malaysia into a leading petroleum industry hub in the region,” it said.

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