Petronas to expand presence in India with US$150 mn investment

Malaysian global energy player Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is expanding its presence in India’s lubricant market over the next five years by putting in US$150 million (RM644 million) in investments, including building a US$50million (RM215million) lubricant blending plant in the republic.

The plant is expected to start operations by the first quarter of 2018, Petronas said in a statement.

“We are aiming to triple our market share in India’s lubricant market by 2022. Globally, we are among the top-10 lubricant players by market share.We are striving to be among the top-five in five years,” said Petronas president and group chief executive officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

Petronas, which has been in business in India for more than two decades, said that it is looking to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply in India to ride along the country’s economic growth.

India, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is expected to see rising demand for LNG from the power, agriculture and transportation sectors.

Petronas said it has delivered 15 LNG cargoes to India year-to-date and delivered to India the first cargo produced from its floating LNG production facility, the first such facility in the world.

According to an Indian English daily newspaper, Wan Zulkiflee said that Petronas was looking at opportunities to invest in the LNG infrastructure in India.

“In LNG, there are infrastructure bottlenecks in India and we are keen to invest in infrastructure to connect the unserved markets in India,” said Wan Zulkiflee.

“We may do this in partnership with Indian companies,” he said to reporters in India, adding that the infrastructure includes pipeline and regasification facilities.

The news came a few weeks after Petronas said that it would not proceed with a proposed C$36 billion (RM121.4billion) LNG project in western Canada.

Meanwhile, another daily newspaper reported that India had contributed about US$1.5billion to Petronas’ annual revenue of about US$47.8billion in 2016, citing Wan Zulkiflee as saying that he expects India’s revenue contribution to Petronas to rise.

The report said that earlier this month, the top executives of Petronas had spent a week in India visiting various companies.