BP to sell Malaysia PTA plant to India's Reliance

BP on Friday agreed to sell all its interests in purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production in Malaysia to India’s Reliance Industries, including its 610,000 tpy plant in Kuantan on the east coast of Malaysia.

Reliance has agreed to purchase BP’s interest in the plant for $230 million in cash. Both parties anticipate completing the transaction in 2012.

“This is an efficient plant with a good market position in the region,” said James Yim, head of BP's aromatics business in Asia.

“RECRON Malaysia, part of the Reliance Group, is already our largest customer in Malaysia and Reliance Industries is a significant feedstock supplier at Kuantan, so Reliance is a natural owner of this plant.”

Nick Elmslie, CEO of BP Petrochemicals, said: “BP has a major, global PTA business, with around one fifth of global PTA production capacity and a track record of leading technology.

“We will continue to concentrate our PTA strategy on deploying new technologies into high growth markets like China where we are in the middle of a considerable expansion program, and in OECD markets where our technology gives us an advantage and high utilization rates,” he added.

“We are also building new revenue streams by licensing our PTA and paraxylene technologies.”

All current plant staff members are expected to transfer to the new owners under equivalent terms and conditions, according to officials involved with the sale.

BP’s acetic acid manufacturing and marketing business in Malaysia is unaffected by this sale.

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