Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced that Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is going to invest 7 billion dollars in an oil refinery and petrochemical project in Johor.
According to Najib, the investment deal was made after Saudi Aramco executives talked with their counterparts from the state-owned energy company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), which is also a major sponsor of the project. The announcement was seen as a huge reversal for the project after industry sources said last month that Saudi Aramco planned not to pursue with the investment. During that time, Petronas also announced that it will still proceed with the project without the participation of Aramco.
During a news conference with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Malaysian prime minister said:
“This is a significant investment and more details will be announced tomorrow. I just want to confirm that the agreement has been reached and King Salman is satisfied that the deal will be signed tomorrow.”
Called the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID), the project will be specifically located at the Pengerang area, alongside an existing oil storage site. It will include a 300,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery and a petrochemical complex that has a production capacity of 7.7 million metric tons.
It is set to start operating in the first quarter of 2019.