KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) said it had reached a final investment decision (FID) to acquire a maleic anhydride (MAn) plant in Gebeng, Kuantan from its 40% owned unit BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn Bhd (BPC) for an undisclosed sum.
“The FID signifies the start of the plant’s project execution phase that will upgrade and rejuvenate the facilities to produce refined MAn, which is targeted to be ready by the second half of 2025,” PetChem said in a statement on Tuesday (June 13).
MAn is produced for applications in coatings and polymers, and mainly used in production of unsaturated polyester resins, paints, and food flavouring.
PetChem signed an agreement with BPC previously for the acquisition of the 113-kilotonne-per-annum plant, with plans to repurpose and upgrade the facility to produce MAn for the food and pharmaceutical industries, its annual report said.
PetChem managing director and chief executive officer Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof said the FID signifies the group's strong commitment in its diversification into derivatives and specialty chemicals to capture new growth opportunities.
“This will also allow us to produce MAn to meet rising demand from customers in Asia-Pacific and the Indian subcontinents, while exploring potential opportunities in the European and Middle Eastern markets.
“Furthermore, the plant will enable future integration of MAn specialty chemical derivatives with both our subsidiaries Perstorp and BRB to deliver innovative solutions, along with possible synergies with other MAn downstream manufacturers in Malaysia,” Yusri said in a statement.
PetChem completed the acquisition of Swedish-based Perstorp Holding AB for a base purchase of €1.538 billion (RM7.018 billion) cash in October last year. It produces preferred specialty chemicals identified by PetChem, including surfactants, specialty polymers, specialty films, plastic additives, coatings, preservatives and biocides, and pre/probiotics.
BRB International BV, meanwhile, produces lube oil additives, silicones and other specialty chemicals serving the automotive, industrial and original equipment manufacturer markets.
Shares in PetChem had fallen 3.01% or 20 sen to RM6.45 at the time of writing on Tuesday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM51.60 billion.