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NEWS UPDATES 28 June 2009

China expected to fund Thai-Malaysia pipeline

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Chinese investors may be keen to fund a Malaysian-Thai oil pipeline, said a Malaysian company building a $10 billion refinery project that will be eventually backed by China's top oil firm, CNPC, a Singapore business daily.

The Business Times on Tuesday cited Merapoh Executive Chairman Nazri Ramli as saying the refinery, due to be completed in 2013-2014, could be linked to the pipeline as it will be faster to transport crude oil products from the Middle East to East Asia this way.

But this is the third such proposal floated in recent years, designed to channel less traffic through Asia's energy hub Singapore.

“They (the Chinese) have already conducted a study and spoken to China, Thailand and Malaysia about it,” Nazri said.

“Yan would be the first entry point for crude oil from the Middle East. Yan is not a busy route, and has a wide span, which is easy for vessels to manoeuvre,” he said, referring to a region in the northern state of Kedah where the refinery is also to be built.

CNPC has agreed to take oil products from the Malaysian refinery for 20 years, while Saudi Aramco will be the crude supplier, Nazri said.


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