Petronas updates progress on Malaysian RAPID project

State-run Petronas has reached the halfway point of its long-planned project to build a refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) complex at Pengerang in southeastern Johor, Malaysia (OGJ Online, May 13, 2011).

“We are now at the midpoint of the project schedule and are on track towards achieving the overall [RAPID] startup in the first quarter of 2019,” said Colin Wong Hee Huing, Petronas senior vice-president and chief executive of Petronas Refinery & Petrochemical Corp. Sdn. Bhd.

The announcement came alongside the delivery on June 25 of major processing equipment for the complex’s steam cracker from South Korea to RAPID’s material offloading facility (MOLF) port in Tanjung Setapa, Johor, which was built specifically to handle imports of heavy-lift, oversized equipment and materials as well as some break-bulk and containerized cargo during construction and implementation of the project.

In addition to a smaller-scale propylene fractionator and ethylene fractionator, the equipment delivery included the main 1,808.6-tonne, 121.3-m high propylene fractionator process column, which, to date, is the tallest and heaviest process column ever to arrive in Malaysia, Petronas said.

With a planned capacity of 300,000 b/d, the RAPID refinery will produce naphtha and LPG feedstock for the petrochemical complex, as well as gasoline and diesel meeting European specifications to help address Asia-Pacific’s growing need for petroleum and petrochemical products.

The $27-28-billion complex will have a combined capacity to produce 7.7 million tonnes/year of various grades of products, including differentiated and specialty chemicals products.

RAPID is part of Petronas’s Pengerang integrated complex, which alongside the refinery and petrochemical production sites, will include six associated facilities, namely the Pengerang cogeneration plant, an LNG regasification terminal, an air-separation unit, a raw-water supply project, a liquid bulk terminal, as well as central and shared utilities and installations.

Contracts overview

Alongside contracts for MOLF, Petronas has let a series of contracts for engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning for RAPID’s refinery and steam cracker, including:

• Toyo Engineering Corp. and Toyo Engineering & Construction Sdn. Bhd. for the steam cracker complex.

• A consortium of CTCI Corp., Chiyoda Corp., Synerlitz (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., and MIE Industrial Sdn. Bhd. for the residue fluid catalytic cracking units, LPG treating unit, propylene recovery unit, and caustic neutralization units.

• Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd. and Sinopec Engineering Group (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. for the crude distillation unit, atmospheric residue desulfurization units, and hydrogen collection and distribution units.

• Tecnicas Reunidas SA and Tecnicas Reunidas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. for the kerosine hydrotreating unit, diesel hydrotreating unit, naphtha hydrotreating unit, cracked-naphtha hydrotreating unit, and continuous catalytic reformer units.

• Petrofac International (UAE) LLC and Petrofac E&C Sdn. Bhd. for the amine recovery units, sulfur recovery units, sour water stripping units, liquid sulfur storage unit, and sulfur solidification units.

The Malaysian operator has awarded contracts for technology licensing at the complex as follows:

• CB&I for steam-cracking technology.

• Technip SA for equipment and technology related to hydrogen production.

• MECS Inc., a subsidiary of EI DuPont de Nemours & Co., for sulfur-removal technology.

Axens SA, Rueil-Malmaison, France, will supply a series of its proprietary processing technologies for the refining portion of the RAPID complex, including:

• A 21,000-b/d hydrotreater equipped with Axens’ naphtha hydrotreating process.

• A 14,000-b/d continuous catalytic regenerator equipped with Axens’ Octanizing process.

• A 30,000-b/d catalytic hydrotreater equipped with Axens’ Prime-K technology.

• A two-trained, 140,000-b/d residue fluid catalytic cracking unit, which includes a propylene recovery section, equipped with Axens’ R2R technology.

• A 75,000-b/d cracked-gasoline desulfurization unit equipped with Axens’ Prime G+ catalytic process. The unit includes a selective hydrogenation reactor-splitter and hydrodesulfurization reactor-stabilizer.

An additional six contracts, which involve construction of the project’s related infrastructure, have been awarded to:

• A consortium of UEM Builders Bhd. and Projek Penyelenggaraan Lebuhraya Bhd. for EPCC of temporary common-camp installations and infrastructure.

• Zelan Construction Sdn. Bhd. for the basic design and EPCC of the material offloading facilities jetty at Tanjung Setapa.

• WCT Bhd. for common construction access and permanent roads within the project site.

• Syarikat Ismail Ibrahim Sdn. Bhd. for the temporary access road within the project site.

• Bumi Dagang Sdn. Bhd. for construction of the main haulage road as well as an access road outside the project site.

• Gadang Engineering (M) Sdn. Bhd. and Menta Construction Sdn. Bhd. for the Phase 2 site preparation works.

A Technip-led joint venture with Fluor Corp. is providing project management consultancy on the project, including overall project and site management as well as PMC for specific EPCC packages within RAPID.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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