MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), a 50:50 JV between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, hopes to restart its petrochemical complex by the end of this year after the initial plan to bring the plant online in August 2021 fell through, according to CommoPlast with reference to Petronas' executive vice president and CEO of downstream - Arif Mahmood.
PrefChem was taken offline on 16 March 2020 after an explosion hit the complex, causing severe damages. The company has been announcing several restart schedules since then, however, none has been materialized.
"When it comes to refining, petroleum products, we remain cautious. There's an oversupply of refining capacity and we'll see recovery hopefully towards the end of this year, early next year,” Arif Mahmood added.
Market sources remain cautious about the restart schedule claiming that it might take the complex of such scale up to the second quarter of 2022 to produce stable outputs.
PrefChem complex houses a naphtha cracker that produces 1.2 million tons/year of ethylene and 600,000 tons/year of propylene. Downstream units include a 450,000 ton/year homo-PP line, a 450,000 tons/year PP copolymer, and a 400,000 tons/year HDPE unit. The company also owns a C6-based metallocene PE plant with a capacity of 350,000 tons/year.
As MRC reported earlier, the explosion occurred at PRefChem complex at roughly 10.50 PM on 15 March 2020, which killed five people. The report confirmed that the incident took place at the 300,000 barrel per day refinery unit. All the stated above plants were shut down after the fire.
We also remind that the company received commercial ethylene and propylene at its new cracker in Pengerang on 13 September, 2019.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the producition of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,868,160 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 18% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.
PrefChem is a 50:50 joint venture between Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, and Saudi Aramco. The Pengerang Refining development, part of Petronas’ USD27 billion Pengerang Integrated Complex, consists of a 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes per year in the southern Malaysian state of 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.
Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.