Petronas, Eni and Euglena ponder biorefinery opportunity in Malaysia

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has teamed up with Italian energy company Eni and Japan’s biotechnology firm Euglena to explore an opportunity for biorefinery development in Malaysia.

Courtesy of Petronas

On 14 December, the three companies announced their intention to jointly study the possibility of developing and operating a biorefinery in the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC), one of the largest integrated refinery and petrochemical developments in Southeast Asia.

Courtesy of Petronas

To this end, they are currently carrying out technical and economic feasibility assessments for the proposed project, with the investment decision expected to be reached by 2023 and the plant targeted to be completed by 2025.

The biorefinery will be located adjacent to Petronas’ existing integrated refinery and petrochemical facilities, leveraging the company’s integrated value chain as well as existing utilities and facilities in PIC.

It is expected to have a flexible configuration to maximise the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for aircraft as well as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) for on-road vehicles, diesel-powered trains, and marine transportation.

The biorefinery is also expected to have the capability to process about 650,000 tonnes per year of raw materials to produce up to 12,500 barrels per day of biofuels, namely SAF, HVO, and bio-naphtha.

Ecofining process, which was developed by Eni in cooperation with Honeywell UOP, will be used in the planned refinery.

Giuseppe Ricci, Chief Operating Officer for Energy Evolution at Eni, said: “For the biorefinery project to develop together with Euglena and Petronas in Malaysia, Eni is pleased to share its experience and its breakthrough technologies that enabled the company to make the world’s first conversion of a refinery into a biorefinery in Porto Marghera (Venice) in 2014, and to inaugurate the second one in Gela, Sicily in 2019.”

“As Petronas continues to chart its course into the biofuels space, decarbonising and diversifying its production portfolio to cater for the rising global demand for sustainable solutions, this collaboration is momentous to unlock the partners’ respective strengths and jointly strengthen our position in the field of biofuels in Malaysia and around the world”, commented Ahmad Adly Alias, Vice President, Refining, Marketing and Trading of Petronas’ Downstream business.

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