Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG), a subsidiary of Malaysian petrochemicals/oil giant Petronas, is investing US$442 million to set up an isononanol (INA) plant within the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
In a filing with the Bursa Malaysia, (formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange), PCG said it had approved the final investment decision for the 250,000-tonne/year plant, which would come on-stream by the second half of 2019.
INA is an oxo-alcohol, mainly used for the production of diisononyl phthalate (DINP), a high molecular weight phthalate plasticiser that is used to increase plasticity and flexibility in PVC.
PVC is widely used in industrial applications such as automotive, wires and cables, floorings, buildings and construction.
PCG says the investment will mark its entry into a niche business with high entry barrier, which is predominantly controlled and commercialised by technology owners for its own captive use.
The major feedstock for the INA plant is Raffinate-2 which will be supplied from the cracker complex in Petronas’s Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project, located within PIC, while the ancillary feedstock supply, mainly hydrogen and oxogas, will be sourced from the integrated refinery and cracker complex respectively.
Early this year, Saudi Aramco and Petronas signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), allowing Saudi Aramco’s equity participation in Petronas’s Rapid project.
With capacity to refine 300,000 barrels/day of crude, Rapid’s refinery will produce a host of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel which meet Euro 5 fuel specifications; as well as feedstock for its integrated petrochemical complex producing 3.5 million tonnes/year of products.
Apart from Rapid, which comprises the refinery, cracker and the downstream petrochemical complex, PIC, located on a 6,242-acre site, also includes the development of associated facilities such as a co-generation plant, an LNG re-gasification terminal, a raw water supply project, a deep water terminal, as well as centralised and shared utility facilities.