Dubai — The Hengyi refinery in Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei, received its first crude shipment late last week, signaling production of petrochemicals is moving closer.
The crude was likely light sweet Nigerian origin, an analyst said. Hengyi Industries reported the shipment on its website on Sunday.
The first phase of the project, which has an investment of $3.45 billion, is set to have crude processing capacity of 8 million mt/year, producing 1.5 million mt/year of paraxylene and 500,000 mt/year of benzene, as well as gasoline, kerosene, diesel and other products.
Once production starts, the plant will sell petrochemicals such as paraxylene to Hengyi’s domestic downstream enterprises, while benzene would likely be sold in the Southeast Asian and North Asian region. Gasoline, diesel and jet fuel production will fully meet Brunei’s domestic demand.
Expectations are mixed on when the plant will start commercial sales. A paraxylene market participant was “confident” late Monday that the first sale would likely be in July. However, a benzene market participant said that Q4 2019 was more probable.
The company has plans for a second phase, in which the refinery will add 14 million mt/year of crude processing capacity, bringing overall capacity to 22 million mt/year. Production will include 2 million mt/year of paraxylene and 1.5 million mt/year of ethylene as well as refined products.
China’s Hengyi Petrochemical owns 70% of Hengyi Industries while the Brunei government owns 30% through Damai Holdings.