The Malaysian petrochemicals sector has been growing at an impressive pace as per a report by companiesandmarkets.com. The government's investor-friendly policies and easy availability of feedstock have been chiefly responsible for this growth.
The country is also strategically located and boasts strong physical infrastructure. About 39 companies are in operation in the nation's petrochemicals industry. Major players in the industry include state-owned Petronas and local Titan Chemicals, Germany-based BASF, UK-based BP, Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, Japan-based Mitsui, Toray Industries and Kaneka, US-based ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and Eastman Chemical and China-based Dairen Chemicals.
Titan Chemicals plans to increase its polyolefins capacity in order to cater to the expanding Malaysian and Indonesian markets. It plans to boost production capacity at its Malaysian site by 100,000 tonnes to 480,000 tonnes by 2008. As reported in September 2007, Indian Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will acquire the assets of Hualon Corporation of Malaysia. Hualon owns polyester and textile manufacturing facilities near Port Kalang.
As per a company statement, Titan Chemicals started up its new metathesis plant at its integrated industrial site in Pasir Gudang, Johor earlier this year. The facility, which produces 115,000 tpa of propylene provides additional feedstock to the Polypropylene (PP) facility. The Polypropylene (PP) facility increased its production capacity at its Malaysian site by 100,000 tons to 480,000 tons in 2008 to cater to the expanding Malaysian and Indonesian markets.
Malaysia is home to well-developed, integrated petrochemicals zones that offer world-class facilities. The Malaysian government is working towards developing Bintulu (Sarawak), Gurun (Kedah), Tanjung Pelepas (Johor) and Labuan into new petrochemicals zones. Existing petrochemicals zones including Kertih (Terengganu), Gebeng (Pahang) and Pasir Gudang-Tanjung Langsat (Johor) will also be leveraged further.
The new third industry master plan (IMP3, 2006-2020) outlines further expansion in the Malaysian petrochemicals industry and seeks to enhance competitiveness. During the plan period, development investment of approximately MYR34bn (US$9.99 bln) will be made. The country's petrochemicals exports are projected to reach MYR20.4bn (US$5.99bn) by 2010 and MYR36.7bn (US$10.79bn) by 2020. By 2020, three new crackers will also be constructed. The government is also emphasising on the development of related services and support infrastructure. The petrochemicals industry is also likely to benefit from rising interest in the Malaysian oil and petroleum sector.