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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        13  May 2011

Petronas to build refinery

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State-owned oil company, Petronas, will construct a US$20bil (RM60bil) integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Southern Johor to be commissioned by the end of 2016, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Friday.

The project, known as the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (Rapid), is at the detailed feasibility study stage and would comprise a crude oil refinery, a naphtha cracker that would produce about three million tonnes of ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 olefins per year and a petrochemicals and polymer complex that would produce differentiated and highly-specialised chemicals.

"This project is indeed a bold undertaking by Petronas, for I am told the proposed 300,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery capacity is larger than the combined capacities of Petronas' existing refineries in Malacca and Kerteh.

"The proposed petrochemical development also exceeds that of Kerteh and Gebeng Integrated Petrochemical Complexes in eastern peninsula Malaysia, combined.

While Rapid is not one of the entry point projects (EPP) outlined within the ambit of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), much of what Petronas is setting out to do is in line with the Government's aspirations to turn Malaysia into a leading petroleum industry hub in the region," Najib added.

He said the projects presented Malaysia with a major vehicle by which to attract foreign direct investments into the country, bolster private investment and expand the country's access to world-class technologies.

The employment opportunities created during the construction phase of the project would of course be much larger than the estimated 20,000 jobs and not to mention the many other spin-offs that would be created in related sectors of the economy, he added.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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