Malaysian state petroleum firm Petronas announced on 17 August that the Pengerang Refining & Petrochemical (PrefChem) JV with Saudi state firm Aramco had restarted the crude distillation unit (CDU) of a new refinery at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. The 300,000 b/d capacity CDU was first started up in April but was shut down because of a fire in the atmospheric residue desulfurization (ARDS) unit. Repairing the ARDS is not expected to be completed until 2020.

Before it gets its ARDS in gear, PrefChem will have to process only low-sulfur crude, Reuters reports. The PrefChem partners have also begun processing imported naphtha to test the project’s 1.2mn t/y cracker (MEES, 5 July). Aramco paid Petronas $7bn for a 50% stake in PrefChem in February 2017, at which time it was called the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project. The deal enables Aramco to supply up to 70% or 210,000 b/d of the refinery feedstock (MEES, 3 March 2017). (CONTINUED - 187 WORDS)