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Petronas steps ups investments in hydrogen as part of carbon-free energy goals

November 23/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysias state energy firm Petronas said it is stepping up investments in hydrogen as part of a global push to produce carbon-free energy, even as the firm expands its portfolio in LNG and renewable energy, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"The trajectory for moving towards hydrogen is really picking up space, chief executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said during the APEC CEO Dialogues. "It is typically the same customer base in emerging Asia, who are making more pronounced noises and desire to create a market for hydrogen," he added.

Petronas, the worlds fourth-largest exporter of LNG, this month announced its goal to become a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050 and also plans to increase its investments in renewable energy. Tengku Muhammad Taufik said, however, the challenge with hydrogen is in managing the supply chain and logistics.

Petronas is working through Memorandum of Understanding and partnerships with technology players to ensure it has the right capital and expertise to pursue the hydrogen agenda, he added.

During the dialogue, Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said it has already formulated its hydrogen strategy, but prices need to fall to the same level as LNG within the next two decades.

"We believe hydrogen has one of the most important roles in achieving carbon neutrality, and is especially important to decarbonize sectors which are hard to electrify," said Takeshi Soda, METI director of oil & natural gas division.

The economic trauma caused by the coronavirus pandemic has pushed energy companies to increase investment in renewables, hydrogen and other low carbon alternatives, but fossil fuels will be their dominant business for the foreseeable future, industry executives say.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF and PETRONAS will close a butanediol (BDO) plant at their joint venture site in Kuantan, Malaysia, in the first quarter of 2021. BASF PETRONAS Chemicals (BPC) intends to shut down the unit, which produces BDO and derivatives, by March 2021, the companies said, due to significant overcapacity in the region due to new investments by competitors into coal-fired production units.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF and Petronas were considering jointly investing around EUR1bn (USD1.34bn) to produce specialty chemicals in Malaysia.

However, Petronas and German chemical company BASF said they had scrapped a proposed joint venture to develop a specialty chemicals production facility in Malaysia. The proposed partnership was terminated because both parties couldn't agree on the "terms and conditions" for the project in the southern state of Johor, the companies said in a joint statement.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF had put a project to build a petrochemicals complex in India worth up to USD4 billion on hold due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in September 2020 by 6.7% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased by 6.1% year on year in the first nine months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-September output. Last month's production of primary polymers decreased to 852,000 tonnes from 888,000 tonnes in August due to shutdowns in Tomsk, Ufa and Kazan. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 7,480,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 16.4%  year on year.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry, BASF, Petronas.
Category:General News
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