Sunday, 19 February 2012

Petronas Chemicals going big in urea manufacturing

Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) is confident of emerging as the second largest producer urea producer in South-East Asia with the implementation of the RM4.5bil Sabah Ammonia Urea (Samur) project.

Chairman Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the project would double Petronas Chemicals’ urea production capacity.

“The project will also contribute towards our effort to strengthen our operations and logistics marketing.

“It will make us the biggest producer of fertilisers in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said at the ground breaking ceremony for the project by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Petronas President and chief executive officer Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas.

Wan Zulkiflee said the bulk of the urea produced worldwide was used for agricultural purposes and it was concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The continued growth was spurred by rapid development in the agricultural sector which was buoyed by growing demand for agricultural products by increasing population,” he said.

Wan Zulkiflee, who is also Petronas Upstream executive vice-president, said this scenario was very encouraging for PCG to expand its fertiliser business in the region as it was geographically close to main markets in the Asean region.

“Realising the need, Petronas is implementing this project, which is scheduled to be ready in 2015, to grab the availing opportunities in the Asia-Pacific urea fertiliser business and to meet the growing domestic demand,” he said.

The Samur complex, close to the Brunei border and less than 100km from Sarawak, will be made up of an ammonia plant, a urea plant and a granulation plant, as well as integrated utility units and jetty facilities.

The urea plant will produce 1.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of granulated urea while the ammonia plant will produce 740,000 mtpa of liquid ammonia.

Currently, PCG operates a 750,000 mtpa urea plant in Bintulu, Sarawak, and a 683,000 mtpa urea plant in Gurun, Kedah.