Petronas has signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Italy-based Versalis SpA to jointly own, develop, construct and operate elastomer plants within PETRONAS’ proposed Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex in Pengerang, Johor. Under the terms of the HOA, the proposed joint venture will produce and market synthetic rubbers using Versalis’ technology licence and technical know-how. The elastomer plants will be part of the world-scale facilities to be developed within the RM60 bln RAPID complex. The HOA was signed on 17 July 2012. PETRONAS was represented by its Chief Operating Officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, who is also PETRONAS’ Executive Vice President for Downstream Business. Versalis was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Daniele Ferrari.
Versalis will bring into the partnership excellent proven elastomer operation records and wealth of experience and expertise that would significantly contribute towards strengthening PETRONAS and Malaysia’s position as a key downstream petrochemical player in the region. Headquartered in Milan, Versalis (formerly known as Polimeri Europa) is a petrochemical company wholly owned and controlled by Eni SpA, an Italian multinational oil and gas company. It manages the production and marketing of a wide portfolio of petrochemical products, using a range of proprietary technologies and state-of-the-art production systems and a wide-reaching and efficient distribution network.
The HOA signed with Versalis is the fourth of such arrangement secured by PETRONAS for RAPID and the engineering activities will commence immediately. Prior to this, PETRONAS inked similar agreements with BASF of Germany, ITOCHU Corporation of Japan and PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited of Thailand for various high value-added downstream chemicals. PETRONAS is currently pursuing the selection of other potential partners and licensors for the various facilities to be developed within RAPID.
PETRONAS’ proposed RAPID project is by far the largest liquid-based green-field downstream undertaking in Malaysia. It will have a 300,000 barrels per day refinery to supply the petrochemical complex, apart from producing a host of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel that meet the Euro 4 and Euro 5 fuel specifications. The petrochemical component of the project will allow PETRONAS to expand its product portfolio from commodity petrochemicals to premium differentiated and specialty chemicals, capitalising on the growing demand for these higher value products in the Asia Pacific region.