Sarawak set for first methanol plant in 2023

MALAYSIA’s state of Sarawak is pressing ahead with the construction of its first methanol plant, as it seeks to diversify downstream.

Sarawak Petchem was established by the state government of Sarawak in 2017 to develop and operate the first methanol plant in the state, which is already home to oil and gas industries. The 1.7m t/y facility will be built in Bintulu and is planned to begin operations in 2023.

The plant has been designed in partnership with Air Liquide Engineering & Construction and Samsung Engineering. It will produce methanol from natural gas provided by Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas. Air Liquide will license the process – Lurgi MegaMethanol – to convert the natural gas into methanol. The company will also provide an air separation unit with capacity to produce 2,200 t/d of oxygen.

When ground was broken for the project in 2019, Sarawak Petchem Chair Amar Abdul Aziz Husain, said the plant would complement the state government’s aspiration to turn Bintulu into a downstream petrochemicals hub, and a catalyst for future growth of downstream derivatives.

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