Fire at Petronas-Aramco oil refining complex claims five lives

17 March 2020 (Last Updated March 18th, 2020 06:08)

A fire and explosion at an oil refining complex owned by Petronas and Saudi Aramco in Malaysia's southern state of Johor killed five people and injured one.

Fire at Petronas-Aramco oil refining complex claims five  lives
The PIC project includes a refinery which is expected to produce 300,000bpd when operating at full capacity. Credit: Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

A fire and explosion at an oil refining complex owned by Petronas and Saudi Aramco in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor killed five people and injured one.

Reuters reported that this incident occurred at the diesel hydrotreater unit in the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC).

It is the second fire at the $27bn Petronas Aramco PIC within the span of one year.

The authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Petronas and Saudi Aramco each own 50% interest in the Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem) joint venture (JV), which owns and operates the refinery and other petrochemical plants at PIC.

Malaysian MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said: “Such incidents should be avoided as it is the government megaproject that costs billions of ringgit. It is feared that such incidents will affect the confidence of potential investors and stakeholders. I believe in the credibility of Petronas in solving this problem.

“I call on all parties, including the federal government, state government and local authorities, to work together to resolve the issue.”

PRefChem confirmed the fire and said that it currently has the situation under control.

The PIC project features a naphtha cracker complex with a capacity of three million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of propylene, C4 and C5 olefins. It also features a petrochemical and polymer complex to produce C4 and C5 derivates.

The project includes a refinery, which PRefChem expects to produce 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bopd) when operating at full capacity.