Proposed second methanol plant in Sarawak to be reviewed as ammonia plant, says Premier Abang Johari

From left: Abdul Aziz, Sikie, Dr Rundi, Awang Tengah, Abang Johari, Dr Hazland and Mohamed Firouz photographed during the First Gas Ceremony of Bintulu Additional Gas Facility (BAGSF-2) in Bintulu on Sept 18, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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By Shikin Louis

BINTULU, Sept 18: Sarawak will conduct a review on the proposed second plant for methanol to produce ammonia instead, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He was referring to the proposed second methanol plant which was initially planned to follow after the first methanol plant in Tanjung Kidurong reaches completion in 2024.

“Having look at the global landscape on methanol trade and at the same time the demand of other producing energy that can use this as a feedstock to produce further energy, I have requested Petchem Sarawak Sdn Bhd to review the proposed second plant of methanol.

“We already have one plant on methanol, but we are going to produce ammonia so the second plant will be based on ammonia,” he said during Bintulu Additional Gas Facility (BAGSF-2) First Gas Ceremony held at the site today.

Abang Johari further noted the potential market of ammonia from looking at the trend in Europe and far east countries including Asean.

“Sometimes, they want to produce energy using ammonia as a feedstock so because of that, I have requested Petchem to set up ammonia plant in Bintulu.

“This is something new which is blue ammonia and I think if you calculate the return on this investment, more or less it is quite guaranteed depending on how you market your product, but it is generally based on demand.

“And I hope that the gas that we have here is sufficient for us to produce blue ammonia for the market,” he added.

During a press conference afterwards, Abang Johari said the ammonia plant worth USD 1 billion will be located next to the methanol plant in Tanjung Kidurong.

“This ammonia will certainly be a material to produce energy apart from other downstream industries based on gas including fertilizers and there is a lot that we can produce from ammonia.

“Ammonia also contains hydrogen. We have gone to Norway where we saw methods in producing hydrogen through ammonia.

“What we can do with this sort of technology seen in Norway is that we can scale it up and Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain and his team can conduct a thorough study on this,” he added.

Amongst those present were Sarawak’s Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai; Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni; Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain; Petronas board member Dato Ibrahim Baki; Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management, Mohamed Firouz Asnan and Bintulu resident Nyurak Keti. — DayakDaily