A joint venture (JV) between Malaysia’s Petronas and Saudi Aramco has restarted the refinery-petrochemical complex in Malaysia following the closure of more than two years, reported Reuters citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

The Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem) JV closed the refinery-petrochemical complex following a fire and explosion in March 2020, which killed over five people.

The operations resumption at the refining complex comes amid surging refining margins in Asia due to easing Covid-19 restrictions by economies across Asia, except China.

Restart has been delayed since 2021 as the entire plant has to undergo detailed checks.

Currently, the refinery is processing existing crude oil from storage tanks. It will later process the crude supplies from Saudi Aramco, according to two more sources.

The sources said that the operations at the refining complex would take some time prior to returning to full production rates.

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By GlobalData

With a 300,000bpd capacity, the refinery complex is equipped to develop refined petroleum products, including jet fuel, motor gasoline and diesel meeting Euro 5 fuel specifications.

The refinery also provides feedstock for the petrochemical complex with a 3.4 million metric tonne per annum (Mmtpa) capacity.

The refinery and petrochemical complex forms part of the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor.

Petronas and Saudi Aramco have equal shares in the PRefChem JV, which owns and operates the refinery and other petrochemical plants at PIC.

In March 2022, Petronas and Waygate Technologies Robotics (WTR) have collaborated to commercialise a robotic inspection device for the oil and gas industry.

The new device allows improved data management and the inspection of confined or hard-to-reach spaces in onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities.