Petronas plans Kertih plastics hub to gain from readily available feedstock

Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) plans to develop a plastics manufacturing hub in Kertih to take advantage of readily available feedstock from its adjacent ethylene crackers. Currently, the capacity at these two plants is almost fully utilised but the output is mostly exported. Petronas wants to develop further downstream activities to take advantage of readily available feedstock. This represents a long-term investment. However, the plan may receive a boost from concerted efforts by the Government to develop the eastern region. Interestingly, no major response has been generated from the smaller companies to this plan. Foreign investment could be sought or small and medium sized industries (SMIs) might have to form domestic or global joint ventures, in view of the capital and high technology required. Ethylene Malaysia Sdn Bhd was formed when Petronas signed a joint venture agreement with BP Chemicals and Idemitsu Petrochemical Co in 1991 to build and operate an ethylene plant in Kertih. Ethylene Malaysia Sdn Bhd is now 100% owned by Petronas. The other plant in the Kertih area - the Optimal group is a joint venture between Petronas and Dow Chemical, operates world class manufacturing facilities that produce 15 different petrochemical products.
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