Malaysia’s state-owned oil corporation and Saudi Aramco are asking banks for proposals to finance about $7 billion for a planned refinery and a petrochemical complex in the Southeast Asian nation.
The lenders would provide financing for the two projects worth a total of $12 billion to be constructed by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco under a memorandum of understanding that the two firms have signed, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.
The banks are expected to submit proposals by later this month, the sources said.
While Petronas announced in January that it would cut its capital and operating expenditures by 50 billion ringgit ($12.2 billion) over four years, it also gave commitment to invest in long-term projects. The planned projects with Saudi Aramco are part of the $27-billion Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development that it is building for future growth and will come onstream in 2019.
Petronas reported a 71 percent decline in net income of 2.7 billion ringgit in the first quarter from 9.3 billion ringgit a year earlier due to lower product prices and reduced sales volume, according to a May 18 statement. Its total assets decreased to 567.6 billion ringgit as at end March compared to 591.9 billion ringgit as at December 31. The company raised $5 billion by selling dollar bonds and Islamic debt in March last year.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil exporter, already has refining and petrochemical partnerships in the US, China, South Korea and Japan, as well as in Saudi Arabia, giving it a share in plants capable of processing 5.4 million barrels a day. It is also looking to develop more joint ventures in countries including the US, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and South Africa, chief executive officer Amin Nasser told reporters on May 10.