Petronas and Italian-based Versalis have entered into a Heads of Agreement (HOA) to jointly own, develop, construct and operate elastomer plants within Petronas's proposed Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex in Pengerang in Johor, Malaysia.
As part of the HOA, the proposed JV will manufacture and market synthetic rubbers using Versalis's technology licence and expertise.
Petronas has also started the selection of other partners and licensors for its various facilities to be developed within the complex as part of the RM60bn ($18.9b) RAPID project operations.
The HOA with Versalis is the fourth of its kind, and the engineering activities for the project are expected to start soon.
The liquid-based green-field downstream undertaking project RAPID will have a 300,000bpd refinery, along with the production of refined petroleum products, which include gasoline and diesel, according to Petronas.
The JV is expected to improve the position of Petronas and Malaysia as key downstream petrochemical players in the Asia Pacific region.
Petronas in the past signed similar agreements with BASF, ITOCHU Corporation and PTT Global Chemical Public Company for various downstream chemicals.
Versalis, which is wholly owned and controlled by Eni SpA, produces and markets petrochemical products.
Image: Petronas towers (KLCC) in Kualalumpur, Malaysia. Photo courtesy of: A.Aruninta.