Petronas-Aramco refinery in Malaysia restarts after 2-yr closure - source

A 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery-petrochemical complex in Malaysia run as a joint venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco has restarted after a more than two-year closure, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

The complex in Pengerang, Johor, is resuming operations at a time when refining margins in Asia are at record levels, buoyed by a fuel demand recovery as more economies across Asia, except for China, ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Low inventories of oil products globally and a drop in fuel exports from Russia following the Ukraine crisis are also underpinning prices.

The joint venture, Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), did not respond to a request for comment.

PRefChem was shut in March 2020 following a deadly fire. Its resumption has been delayed from last year for the entire plant to undergo detailed checks, at a time when fuel demand and refining margins were still being hit by COVID-19 lockdowns.

The refinery, which restarted last week, is processing existing crude from storage tanks, which will then be followed by supplies from Saudi Aramco, two more sources said.

It is expected to take some time before operations can return to full rates, the sources said.

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