Petronas says assessing fire damage at Malaysian joint venture with Aramco

(Reuters) - Malaysian state energy firm Petronas said on Tuesday it was studying the damage to interconnecting pipes caused by a fire last week at its refinery and petrochemical joint venture with Saudi Aramco.

Petronas said last Thursday a fire and explosion occurred at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) located in the southern Malaysian state of Johor. No casualties were reported.

"The damage to the interconnecting pipes caused by the recent incident at Pengerang Integrated Complex is currently being further assessed for rectification," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

All other utilities within the complex will continue to operate as normal to meet business needs, it said, without indicating if the refinery was still operating.

A spokesperson at Pengerang Refining Company and Pengerang Petrochemical, collectively known as PrefChem, said the affected portion of the plant is currently shut down because of a disruption in nitrogen supply. The spokesperson did not specify which units were affected.

On Monday, Petronas Chemicals Group said in a statement that the interconnecting pipes in the incident were not within the petrochemical facilities in which PCG has 50% direct equity.

"However, due to integrated nature of PIC and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the employees, workers and surrounding communities, the petrochemical plants have been temporarily shut down," Petronas Chemicals said.

"The plants will resume its start-up activities once all safety measures and other considerations have been undertaken."

The refining-petrochemical complex, which consists of a 300,000-barrel-per-day refinery and a 1.2-MMtpy naphtha cracker, resumed operations in May after being shut for more than two years when a fire killed five people at the complex in March 2020.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Kuala Lumpur and Trixie Yap in Singapore; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Ed Davies)

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