Petronas starts trials on Rapid project’s oil refinery in Malaysia

Malaysian state oil company Petronas has started trial runs at the crude distillation unit (CDU) for a joint-venture refinery with Saudi Aramco in Malaysia recently, according to a Reuters report.

This is said to be a major milestone for the US$2.7 billion project known as Rapid – or Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development – located in Pengerang in Johor, in the southern state of Malaysia. The test runs put the project on track for commercial operation in 2019.

The company also received its second cargo of 2 million barrels of Saudi crude last week, according to the sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon.

Rapid consists of a 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery and secondary refining units that will allow the companies to produce refined oil products that meet Euro 5 fuel specifications. The refinery is linked to a petrochemical complex with a capacity of 7.7 million tonnes/year.

The first crude oil cargo for Rapid was offloaded at Pengerang in September.

The refinery is one of four new complexes in Asia that represent a combined processing capacity of nearly 1.3 million bpd scheduled to start up from late 2018 to 2019.

Another of the four complexes, a 400,000-bpd refinery, owned by Hengli Petrochemical in Dalian in northeast China, started trial runs last year, said Reuters.

These plants will increase Asia’s crude demand while adding to fuel output in the region.