(EnergyAsia, July 24 2012, Tuesday) — Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petronas said it has signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with Italy’s Versalis SpA to jointly own, develop, construct and operate elastomer plants in Johor state. The plants will be part of the world-scale facilities to be developed within Petronas’s planned RM60-billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex in Pengerang town.

The proposed joint venture will produce and market synthetic rubbers using Versalis’ technology licence and technical know-how. The agreement was signed by Petronas’s chief operating officer and executive vice president (downstream) Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, and Versalis’s CEO, Daniele Ferrari.

Versalis will bring into the partnership excellent proven elastomer operation records and wealth of experience and expertise to contribute towards strengthening Petroas and Malaysia’s position as a key downstream petrochemical player in the region.

Milan-based Versalis, formerly known as Polimeri Europa, is a petrochemical company wholly owned and controlled by Italian oil and gas major Eni SpA.

The HOA signed with Versalis is the fourth secured by Petronas for

RAPID after Germany’s BASF, Japan’s Itochu Corp and Thailand’s PTT Global

Chemical Public Company Limited of Thailand agreed to build various high value-added downstream chemicals.