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Petronas $20 billion RAPID project in Malaysia


Petronas Chemical Group (PCG) is planning to build a US$20 billion RAPID (Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development) plant in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia, which borders Singapore, — the largest oil trading hub in Asia.

The project is key for grabbing a larger share in the $395 billion global market for specialty chemicals — high value raw materials used in products from diapers to higher performance tires and LCD televisions. In terms of markets for petrochemicals coming from RAPID, Petronas is aiming for Myanmar, Bangladesh and parts of the subcontinent.

RAPID aims at building a world-scale integrated refinery and petrochemical complex to answer the growing need for specialty chemicals and to meet the demand for petroleum and commodity petrochemical products in the Asia Pacific region by 2016.

 The proposed refinery will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels per standard day and will supply naphtha and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) feedstock for the RAPID petrochemical complex, as well as produce gasoline and diesel that meet European specifications.

The Petrochemical complex should include 28 units to enhance the value of the olefinic streams coming from the RAPID 3 million t/y naphtha steam cracker by producing various merchant grades petrochemicals products such as:

  • 1 million t/y Ethylene
  • Propylene
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • C4 and C5 olefins
  • Ethyelene Oxide (EO)
  • Phenol
  • Bisphenol (BPA)
  • Surfactants and additives for lubricants

On March 13th 2012, Technip confirmed to have been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract,  Technip offices should be involved in France, Italy and Malaysia.

In parallel to the complex, Petronas is working on a 1200MW gas -fired power plant to supply electricity to the site and potentially to the surrounding area and for export to Singapore. Malaysia is currently developing plans to supply the power plant through the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification terminal in the complex. The terminal would be able to source gas either from Petronas ‘ liquefaction terminals on the Island of Borneo, or from international projects in countries such as Australia or Qatar.

Petronas is in talks with several global oil majors including Shell and ExxonMobil and chemicals companies such as Itochu Corp ,Mitsubishi Corp as well as to Itochu Corp ,Mitsubishi Corp, as well as Dow Chemical Corp. Petronas is expected to make a decision on the partnerships by mid-2012, which signals it is quickly moving beyond the feasibility stage of the project.

With this complex, Petronas is looking for building one of the biggest synthetic rubber production capacity in the region to feed the tire industry in full expansion.
BASF will be one of the investors for a C4 plant (60/40 JV BASF/Petronas). BASF and Petronas are currently working on the DFS.

The Technip FEED contract is scheduled for completion in the second semester of 2013.

The entire project is expected to turn into operations by end 2016


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