Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih expressed great appreciation on King Salman bin Abdulaziz attending the signing ceremony on purchasing 50% of the Malaysia-based Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project, reported state-owned news agency SPA.
“This agreement came within the keenness of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on concluding and diversifying strategic partnerships between Saudi Aramco and the international companies, particularly with the states of the Islamic world,” Minister Falih said.
In a joint press conference with Malaysia’s urban minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Falih stressed that it was only after hard work, professionalism and long negotiations that Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco was to secure such an agreement.
The deal encompasses a substantial stake purchase into RAPID, which was developed by Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).
Petronas developed RAPID along with other facilities in Pengerang, Southern Johor, Malaysia, through a project called Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC).
Southern Johor was chosen as the location for the project due to its proximity to deepwater port facilities and regional demand centers.
PIC covers an area of 2,000ha, and includes a crude oil refinery and petrochemical complex capable of processing 300,000 bpd.
The project will help Petronas to produce premium petroleum products and specialty chemicals. Demand for such high-value products is increasing, especially in the Asia Pacific region. RAPID will enable Petronas to meet this demand for the next 20 years.
Falih stressed that the deal holds great importance and expands the work of Saudi Aramco across global markets, particularly in the Far East.
Energy Minister Falih disclosed that the complex is an integrated refinery set to return profits in the short and long terms.
Falih also said that the agreement will increase Saudi Aramco value worldwide, giving the oil giant an important competitive advantage by targeting both emerging markets and strong Southeast Asia markets.