PetChem swoops in oxyalkylates market, buys 50% stake in Germany-based PCC

Both parties plan to build an oxyalkylates facility within the Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex to produce ethoxylates and polyether polyols

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

PETRONAS Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) has entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Germany’s PCC SE, marking its entry into the growing oxyalkylates market.

The chemical arm of Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has recently acquired 50% of PCC shares in its Malaysian subsidiary PCC Oxyalkylates Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PCC-OM).

“This is another milestone for PetChem in our quest to develop the group’s speciality chemicals business segment.

“We are pleased to be working with PCC, a global surfactant player, in our first foray into the speciality oxyalkylates market, as their experience, expertise and capabilities provide a strategic fit into our growth plans,” PetChem MD and CEO Datuk Sazali Hamzah (picture) said in a joint statement yesterday.

Elaborating on the acquisition, he said the company will continue to explore investing in more technologies and assets that will further expand its high-value chemicals portfolio, thus future-proofing its business.

Both parties plan to build an oxyalkylates facility within the Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex, Terengganu, to produce ethoxylates and polyether polyols.

The construction of the facility is targeted to commence in 2021, while production is scheduled to begin in 2023.

The partners also intend to establish a joint research and development (R&D) centre at PCC-OM to ensure a high level of innovation and fulfilment of individual customer requirements.

According to the statement, the strategic partnership leverages the strengths of both companies; PetChem as one of the leading integrated chemicals players in SouthEast Asia (SEA) and PCC with its extensive range of products and chemical formulations serving a large variety of applications.

The partnership will enable PCC-OM to deliver high-value innovative solutions to customers in the oxyalkylates market in the region, it said.

Waldemar Preussner, chairman of the Administrative Board of PCC stated that the Kertih site is ideal due to raw materials availability and excellent infrastructure with direct seaport access, thus ensuring competitive production and logistics costs.

“This project enables us to leverage the know-how we have gained from decades of oxyalkylates production in our facility and the new R&D centre for customers in Asia will create a pathway for expanding our product portfolio.

“In PetChem, we have found a strong strategic partner both for this investment and for other potential collaborations in the chemical industry,” he said.

Oxyalkylates are a group of chemicals comprising ethoxylates, a non-ionic surfactant and polyether polyols, which are used for the manufacture of a wide range of end-products.

Ethoxylates are used among others, in the production of detergent, home care and personal care products, while polyether polyols are mainly used to produce foam mattresses and upholstery applications.

Demand for these two chemicals is expected to grow especially in SEA and the Asia-Pacific regions.

PCC, headquartered in Duisburg, Germany, is a global surfactant player with established know-how gained over several decades in the development and production of surfactants and polyols. It established PCC-OM in 2017 to expand into the Asian region.