Petronas sees commercial production this year at refinery

State oil company Petronas said its massive refinery and petrochemicals complex in southern Malaysia, a $27-billion joint venture with Saudi Aramco, will start commercial operations as planned by the end of the year, dismissing a report of a delay.

The refinery’s atmospheric residue desulphurization (ARDS) unit, hit by a fire in April, will begin operation by mid-2020, Petronas said in an email late on Wednesday.

“Petronas would like to clarify that its Pengerang Integrated Complex is in the middle of start-up activities and expected, as planned, to be in commercial operations by end of 2019,” it told Reuters.

Last week, Platts said the fire had delayed commissioning of Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), a part of the complex, to the second half of 2020, citing Aramco’s comments in its prospectus for an initial public offering.

The project had been shut in April after fire damaged the atmospheric residue desulphurization unit.

It consists of a 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with annual production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes. (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Kim Coghill and Clarence Fernandez)

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