30 January 2001 10:39 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--BP does not have trimellitic anhydride (TMA) capacity in China, as indicated erroneously in a CNI report earlier this month.
BP Malaysia’s chief executive, Peter Wentworth, was quoted on 19 January as saying: "We have several TMA facilities in China but they are small compared with the one coming up in Kuantan (Malaysia)." BP has since made it clear that in referring to TMA facilities in China, Wentworth meant plants operated by other companies.
The full, corrected report follows:
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Anglo-American hydrocarbons major BP could double its total investment in Malaysia by 2010, including expanding its petrochemical and petroleum exploration activities there, CNI was told on Friday (19 January).
BP, the largest UK-based investor in Malaysia, has so far put $1.6bn (Euro1.7bn) into its chemicals, oil exploration and marketing, and solar panel-manufacturing activities in the country. The sum excludes $150m committed to the company’s upcoming, 65 000 tonne/year trimellitic anhydride (TMA) plant in Kuantan, which would be the single largest such facility outside the US.
BP Malaysia’s chief executive, Peter Wentworth, said in Kuala Lumpur: "We’ll double our investment by 2010 and are looking forward to continue with our worldscale operations here.''
He added: "There are several TMA facilities in China but they are small compared with the one coming up in Kuantan". The Kuantan plant will use BP's newly-developed, proprietary process technology, and would primarily serve Asian customers. It will come onstream at the end of 2002.
"The decision to build the TMA plant in Kuantan demonstrates BP's strong level of confidence in Malaysia as a country for long-term petrochemical investments," Wentworth said. Along with China and Indonesia, Malaysia is regarded as one of the most important nations for BP in terms of regional investment, he added.
Wentworth said Kuantan was chosen over Singapore and Geel, Belgium - other sites that had been considered for the TMA plant. "Kuantan was chosen because of the excellent investment incentives offered by Malaysia and the synergies obtained by co-locating a worldscale TMA unit with a worldscale PTA (purified terephthalic acid) unit."
He added that BP's investments in upstream (exploration) activities are expected to increase, particularly in the Malaysia-Thai Joint Development Area in the Gulf of Thailand. At the same time, BP plans to embark on more activities that are "synergistic to its existing petrochemical business".
Wentworth said the expected slowdown in the US economy would not affect BP's long-term investment plans. "It's much more about what the next five years are going to look like,'' he explained, adding that he expects world oil production to be sufficient to keep crude prices in the range of $18-$25/bbl.
"Anything above that range potentially would have a negative effect over the long term,'' he stated.
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