Energy

APPEC Malaysia's Petronas hopes to restart Pengerang refinery by year-end

1 minute read

A Petronas logo at their office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/File Photo

SINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Petronas hopes to restart its Pengerang refinery-petrochemical complex, a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, by year end, Arif Mahmood, Petronas' executive vice president and CEO of downstream, said at the Platts APPEC 2021 conference.

The 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery complex in Johor was shut in March 2020 following a deadly fire. The Malaysian state energy firm in February delayed the restart of the complex to the second half of 2021 from the first.

"When it comes to refining, petroleum products, we remain cautious," he said, adding that travel curbs continue to weigh on aviation fuel demand recovery as economies are still gradually opening up from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We'll see recovery hopefully towards the end of this year, early next year."

Besides grappling with the hit to demand due to the pandemic over the past two years, the refining sector is in oversupply and faces challenges from energy transition as vehicles switch from being powered by fossil fuels to electricity.

"There's oversupply of refining capacity," Arif said, adding that Petronas is operating its other refineries at 70% to 75% of their capacities.

Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters