Billionaire Brexiteer Ratcliffe’s Ineos to build new 4×4 vehicle in Britain

LONDON, Sept 18 — Ineos, the petrochemicals firm run by pro-Brexit billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s third-richest person, will build a new 4×4 vehicle in the UK, a boost to an industry hit by closure announcements this year. As part of a…

Sources: Saudi Aramco says to meet oil commitment to Asian refiners, some changes

NEW DELHI, Sept 18 — Saudi Aramco has informed at least six refiners in Asia that it will supply full allocated volumes of crude oil in October following attacks on Saudi oil facilities on the weekend, although at least one has been told of a…

IEA says oil demand subdued on economic uncertainty

PARIS, Sept 12 — Global oil demand growth is expected to remain subdued, with the economy weakening and buffeted by US-China trade tensions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. “International trade relations have further…

Putin woos Asian investors in Russia’s Far East

VLADIVOSTOK, Sept 5 — President Vladimir Putin sought to lure Asian investment to Russia’s Far East today as the launch was announced of a huge Arctic gas project aimed at Asian markets. Hosting leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo…

India’s Reliance set to seal US$15 billion deal with Saudi Aramco

MUMBAI: India’s Reliance Industries is set to sell a 20% stake in its oil to chemicals business to Saudi Aramco, helping the Indian conglomerate to cut debt and giving Aramco better access to a fast growing market.

While terms of the deal are yet to be finalised, Reliance will get roughly US$15 billion (RM62.8 billion), including some debt adjustments for the 20% stake, P.M.S. Prasad, executive director of Reliance Industries, said today, adding the two companies aim to close the deal by March 2020.

The deal will see Reliance buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Aramco, Prasad told media after the company’s annual general meeting, noting this would more than double the volumes that Reliance now purchases from Aramco.

The deal ties in with Aramco’s push to expand its refining and marketing footprint globally by signing new deals and boosting the capacity of its plants to secure new markets for its crude oil.

Aramco is boosting its refining and petrochemicals business, particularly in Asia, and sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream expansion strategy to reduce risk as oil demand slows.

“This signifies perfect synergy between the world’s largest oil producer and the world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex,” said Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, while announcing the deal at the AGM today.

Ambani, who is Asia’s richest man, said the deal would be the biggest foreign investment in the history of Reliance and also one of the largest foreign investments ever in India.

Aramco declined to comment on the Reliance tie-up today, which coincided with its announcement of a 12% decline in half-year net profit.

Aramco reported a net profit of US$46.9 billion (RM196.3 billion) in the first half of 2019, down from US$53 billion for the same period last year. Despite the profit decline, Aramco remained the world’s most profitable company.

By comparison, Apple Inc, the world’s most profitable listed company, made US$31.5 billion, US rival Exxon Mobil Corp around US$5.5 billion and Royal Dutch Shell some US$8.8 billion.

“Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, we continued to deliver solid earnings and strong free cash flow underpinned by our consistent operational performance, cost management and fiscal discipline,“ CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement in Riyadh today.

The company generated total half-year revenue, including other income related to sales, of US$163.88 billion, down from US$167.68 billion a year earlier. Free cash flow rose 6.7% to US$38 billion.

Aramco said the drop in earnings was mainly due to a 4% fall in the average realised price of crude oil to US$66 from US$69 per barrel and an increase in purchases, producing and manufacturing costs, and depreciation and amortisation costs.

The drop was partially offset by a decrease of US$2.62 billion in income taxes, the company said.

Aramco said today it will maintain its position as of the world’s biggest crude producer and would continue to expand its gas output and sustain its strong financial position.

“Our financials are strong and we will continue to invest for future growth,“ Nasser said.

Aramco also paid a dividend of US$46.4 billion to the government including a special dividend of US$20 billion, up from US$32 billion a year earlier.

India’s Reliance to sell US$15b stake in refining unit to Saudi Aramco

MUMBAI, Aug 12 — The head of India’s Reliance said today that it has agreed to sell a 20 per cent stake in its oil refinery and chemical unit to Saudi Aramco in a deal worth US$15 billion. “This is the biggest foreign investment in the history…

India’s Reliance reports 6.8pc rise in profits

MUMBAI, July 19 — Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries today reported a 6.8 per cent rise in consolidated net profit despite a slowdown in its oil refining business. The Mumbai-based company owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said its…

Petronas: Lower crude oil prices a turn-off for investment

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) today said not enough investment was made in oil and gas projects during the times when oil prices were low especially in the projects that required a long gestation…

ECER 2.0 to attract RM70b private investments

PETALING JAYA: The East Coast Economic Region Master Plan 2.0 (2018-2025) (EMP 2.0) aims to attract RM70 billion in new private investments, and create 120,000 new jobs and 60,000 entrepreneurial opportunities for Malaysians.

The master plan, which was launched by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) yesterday, aims to accelerate the next leap of the region’s socio-economic transformation, narrowing the regional imbalance and enhancing the well-being of the people.

Themed “The Next Leap”, it outlines key strategies, high-impact projects and inclusive people-centric programmes to be implemented in the region to sustain its transformation into a distinctive, dynamic and competitive region by 2025.

“The launch of the EMP 2.0 is indeed a historic milestone. Capitalising on the solid foundation built on the back of the region’s socio-economic successes over the last 10 years, the EMP 2.0 was developed with the rakyat’s well-being at its heart.

“Through the delivery of high-impact projects and programmes, the Rakyat will continue to benefit through the inclusive and equitable opportunities to uplift their quality of life through the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created in the Region,” ECERDC CEO Baidzawi Che Mat said in a statement today.

EMP 2.0 will emphasise on six strategic initiatives namely increasing labour productivity; diversifying economic bases; facilitating economies of scale; mobilising the labour force; leveraging connectivity; and enhancing enabling infrastructure such as ICT broadband connectivity.

Greater emphasis will be given to accelerate the region’s readiness for Industry 4.0, given the importance of the digital platform in shaping economies and driving innovations worldwide.

To kick start this initiative, ECERDC has partnered with Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) to establish the Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) at the Pahang Technology Park (PTP)’s Cybercentre.

Meanwhile, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the expansion of Kuantan Port in Pahang are expected to facilitate further investments and improve mobility of goods and people.

ECERDC has also identified a new key driver namely logistics and trade facilitation, which will enhance the region’s overall competitiveness by identifying, aggregating and addressing supply chain issues for the region’s existing economic drivers including manufacturing; oil, gas and petrochemicals; tourism and agribusiness sectors.

The ECER has undergone a socio-economic transformation over the last 10 years and achieved its 2020 investment target of RM110 billion three years ahead of schedule.

To date, the total private investment in ECER stands at RM115.6 billion with 164,500 job opportunities created and around 38,000 entrepreneurs developed.

KNM awarded contracts worth RM27.71m

PETALING JAYA: KNM Group Bhd has been awarded two contracts with an estimated value of RM27.71 million via its indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries FBM Hudson Italiana S.p.A (FBM) in Italy and FBM-KNM FZCO (FZCO) United Arab Emirates.

According to the group’s Bursa filing today, its Italian subsidiary FBM has accepted a design and supply contract from Dangote Oil Refining Co Ltd and Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals Free Zone Ent for US$4.55 million (RM18.97 million).

The contract is for the design, fabrication and supply of air cooler heat exchangers in respect of the Petroleum Refinery And Polypropylene Plant in Lekki Free Trade Zone, Nigeria with a 12 months supply and delivery duration from the date of the acceptance of the contract.

Meanwhile, its operations in the UAE, FZCO has received a purchase order from Basrah Gas Co for the supply and delivery of replacement heat exchangers to Khor Al Zubair’s gas processing plant in Iraq’s Basrah province for US$2.096 million (RM8.74 million). The supply and delivery duration is for a period no later than Jan 14, 2020.

Both FBM and FZCO are principally involved in the design, engineering, procurement and manufacturing of process equipment, including without limitation pressure vessels, reactors, columns and towers, drums, heat exchangers, air finned coolers, process gas waste heat boilers and specialised shell and tube heat exchangers, condensers, spheres, process tanks, mounded bullets, process skid packages and turnkey storage facilities as well as technical and project management services in relation to process equipment, plant facilities and general facilities for the oil, gas, petrochemicals, minerals processing and renewable energy industries worldwide.

Dangote is Nigeria’s most diversified business conglomerates, a multi-billion Naira company operating in sectors encompassing agriculture, petroleum refinery & petrochemicals, fertilizer, cement and telecom in Nigeria and across the African continent.

Basrah is a public/private joint venture in Iraq, majority owned by the state-owned South Gas Company together with Shell and Mitsubishi and was setup to manage and operate Basrah Province’s abundant endowment of natural gas.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to KNM’s earning for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 and Dec 31, 2020.