When Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) in Pengerang found a strategic and reliable partner from Saudi Aramco, they have agreed to pump in RM31 billion and acquire 50% stake in the project, does this means that the Arabs have already bought over Petronas as what Dr Mahathir’s boys would claim? Further to that, they accused PM Najib once again is selling our country to foreign investors apart from the Republic of China’s projects.
One of the main agenda in HRH King Salman’s inaugural visit to Malaysia is to ink share purchase agreement involving Saudi Aramco in Rapid’s refinery and cracker projects, which were a portion of Pengerang Integrated Complex. How does by acquiring part of Petronas project in Pengerang could affect Petronas in total thus Petronas landed into the Arab’s hands?
These projects that Aramco is investing in will only be completed by 2019 and under the partnership, Saudi Aramco has agreed to supply their 70% crude oil to RAPID’s refinery while Petronas will provide other facilities including natural gas and power. Such partnership is nothing new to both Petronas and even Aramco as they have been investing in other parts of the world to supply crude oil to refineries. In fact, world analysts have estimated that Arab oil stock could last until 70 years. Hence, Petronas would benefit from a continuous crude oil supply and in other words, it will be an unending business.
Perhaps many may not know, even if Dr Mahathir would boast of Petronas but Singapore has been a major oil trading and processing hub for decades when they own the largest processing refinery in Asia even though they do not have their own oil resources such as Malaysia. Singapore is smart enough to leverage the oil facilities inherited from the British Naval base and today it has contributed 5% of its GDP or about RM60 billion per year. Upgrading the inherited facilities, Singapore has attracted petrochemical and related industries and manufacturers to invest there too.
Malaysia has the resources and expertise and we too have sufficient areas and capacities. Therefore, under PM Najib leadership RAPID Pengerang existed to diversify venturing into downstream industry rather than depending on drilling crude oil only.
In the near future, Malaysia soon will be a net exporter of refined oil products instead of just as the importer and perhaps RAPID Pengerang would be much better than Singapore. Refining business is in reality much more profitable when we will be storing sufficient refined and crude oil during when oil prices are low and supply gluts.
With RAPID Pengerang and Arab Aramco partnership, our nation would be better and Petronas business would be more resilient. Instead of building mega-projects such as the crooked bridge or the F1 Sepang, PM Najib has found the best solution to overcome uncertainties of petrol prices and further to that with massive amounts of profits to increase our country revenue, rakyat too will be offered with jobs and other business surrounding Pengerang.
Once again, how does Petronas partnership with Arab Aramco, our national oil company is sold and on what basis that Dr Mahathir’s boys are relying on?