Sector News

Petronas and Aramco may revive elastomers project at Rapid

May 9, 2017
Chemical Value Chain

Petronas (Kuala Lumpur) and Saudi Aramco, partners in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project at Pengerang, Jahore, Malaysia, are studying plans to add further units to the massive complex.

The news follows Aramco’s decision to take a stake in Rapid through a $7-billion investment. The companies are studying the addition of specialty chemicals production units and an elastomers project, which would take the butadiene stream from the olefins manufacturing complex to produce elastomers and/or synthetic rubbers.

The expansion would reverse Petronas Chemicals’ decision in April 2016 to cancel plans for a joint-venture (JV) elastomers project with Versalis as part of Rapid after a review found it would not achieve the required return on investment. The project was to include units producing ethylene propylene diene monomer, emulsion styrene butadiene rubber, and solution styrene butadiene rubber, as well as polybutadiene rubber.

Elastomers are a core business for Aramco, following its acquisition of a 50% stake in Arlanxeo, a JV with Lanxess. Arlanxeo is the world’s leading producer of synthetic rubber.

Petronas and Aramco will hold equal ownership in selected ventures and assets of Rapid, which forms part of the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC). Under their partnership, Saudi Aramco will meet most of the crude oil feedstock requirements of the refinery and Petronas will supply natural gas, power, and other utilities. PIC will have a refinery with capacity of 300,000 bbl/day that will produce petroleum products, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas, as well as 600,000 metric tons/year of propylene. A steam cracker will be capable of producing 1.26 million metric tons/year of ethylene, 609,000 metric tons/year of propylene, 185,000 metric tons/year of butadiene, and 250,000 metric tons/year of raffinate-1.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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