MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysia's state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad said on Thursday its new USD27 billion refining and petrochemical complex project in the southeast Asian country is on track for start-up in 2019, reported Reuters.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that Saudi Aramco had shelved its plans for a partnership with the company, known as Petronas, on the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, raising questions about its future.
RAPID, located within the Pengerang Integrated Complex in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, is designed to have a 300,000-bpd oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 MMt.
Petronas said in a statement late on Thursday the development had reached the 54% progress mark to date and was expected to generate positive returns for the company.
"Petronas would like clarify that its Pengerang Integrated Complex project will continue to be the focus of its downstream growth agenda in the coming years," the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
"Despite the current slowdown in the world economy and depressed oil prices, the investment remains a priority for Petronas."
The statement made no reference to Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-run oil and gas giant.
Aramco's move to suspend plans for the Malaysian venture comes at a time when Petronas is struggling with the slump in oil prices.
In early 2016 Petronas said it would cut spending by up to USD11.29 billion over the next four years. It has also slashed the dividend it pays to the Malaysian government.
As MRC informed earlier, Petronas plans to build a C6-based metallocene linear LDPE plant and a low density polyethylene (LDPE)/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) swing plant at its greenfield integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in southern Johor state by mid-2019. The proposed metallocene LLDPE will have a capacity of 350,000 tpa, while the LDPE/EVA will have a capacity of about 150,000 tpa. The two plants are part of Petronas' planned Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Pengerang at Johor.
Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.