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Rapid Petronas Pengerang takes speed with Technology Alliances

Versalis joins Basf, Itochu and PTT to partner in Rapid

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) completed in September a joint venture with the Italian company Versalis, the chemical branch of Eni for the refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.

With this partnership, Petronas and Versalis will design, develop and construct the elastomers production unit.

After performing the feasibility study in 2011, Petronas selected Technip from France to perform the front end engineering and design (FEED) from its offices in Paris, Roma in Italy, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

From this feasibility study and FEED, the giant Rapid project will be divided in 28 major productions units.

The Rapid refinery is designed to process 300,000 b/d of crude oil and to produce:

 – Naphtha

 – Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)

 – Gasoline and Diesel complying with Euro4 and Euro 5 standards

The Rapid petrochemical complex should have a Naphtha steam cracker with capacity of 3 million t/y to produce:

 – 1 million t/y ethylene

 – Propylene

 – Polypropylene (PP)

 – Polyethylene (PE)

 – C4 and C5 olefins

 – Ethylene Oxide (EO)

 – Phenol

 – Bisphenol (BPA)

 – Elastomers

 – Isononanol

– Highly reactive polyisobutylene

 – Non-ionic surfactants

 – Methanesulfonic acid

 – Additives for lubricants

In addition to the production units, the Rapid project will also include significant packages regarding:

 – Offsites and Utilities:

 – Pipelines

 – Storage facilities

 – Logistics and warehousing facilities

With this fragmentation, Petronas wants to facilitate the engineering, design and construction of this giant project of $20 billion capital expenditure.

CB&I Lummus awarded technology contracts for Rapid

Then, to ensure long standing world-class performances of these production units in the Asia-Pacific region, Petronas’s strategy is to seal alliances with foreign companies having the most advanced technologies for the most critical production units.

Petronas believes to set such state-of-art partnerships with 10 to 12 petrochemical companies out of which are already signed through Heads of Agreement or joint venture.

In March 2012, Petronas and Basf signed Heads of Agreement for a  joint venture (Basf 60%, Petronas 40%) to invest $1 billion capital expenditure in the production units dedicated to the Isononanol, Highly reactive polyisobutylene, Non-ionic surfactants, Methanesulfonic acid.

In May 2012, Petronas signed two sets of Heads of Agreement.

The first Heads of Agreement was inked with Itochu Corporation (Itochu), a Japanese trading company of chemical products to covers several production units to be operated by Petronas only.

The second Heads of Agreement was involving Itochu and PTT Global Chemical from Thailand in connection with the production units to be operated by Petronas and PTT.

In July 2012, Petronas awarded to CB&I Lummus licensing contracts and engineering design work for 5 production units.

In September, Petronas signed a joint venture with Versalis regarding one of the biggest elastomers facility in the Asia-Pacific region.

Petronas LNG Terminal and Pengerang Power Plant

In addition to the Rapid project itself, the development of the refinery and petrochemical complex will require significant satellites projects such a LNG Terminal and a power plant.

To be gas-fired the power plant should have a capacity of 1200MW in order to supply electricity to the Rapid complex and the neighboring area in Malaysia and in Singapore.

To supply the Pengerang Power plant, Petronas is planning to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import and re-gasification Terminal.

This LNG import terminal could receive feedstock from different Petronas LNG facilities in the Island of Borneo or from the coming Sarawak FLNG.

Technip is due to complete the FEED of the Rapid project by the end of 2013, in the meantime Petronas will continue to close partnerships such as with Basf, Itochu, PTT and Versalis, in order to put on stream by 2016 one of the largest one-time-build downstream project in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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