BP sheds Malaysian PTA unit

Ringgit the changes: Bob Dudley-led BP selling off a business unit in Malaysia

BP has bagged another $230 million in cash through the sale of a chemicals subsidiary in Malaysia to Reliance Global Holdings.

The Bob Dudley-led British supermajor has sold its entire holding in BP Chemicals (Malaysia) to Reliance in an all-cash deal.

The Kuantan, eastern Malaysia-based offshoot is concerned with the production of purified terephthalic acid.

All current staff at BPCM are expected to be kept on following closure of the deal which is set for the end of the year.

BP is not, however, selling out of its acetic acid manufacturing and marketing business in the South-East Asian country, it said on Friday.

Nick Elmslie, chief executive of BP Petrochemicals said: "BP has a major, global PTA business, with around one fifth of global PTA production capacityand a track record of leading technology.

"We will continue to concentrate our PTA strategy on deploying new technologies into high growth markets like China where we are in the middle of a considerable expansion programme, and in OECD markets where our technology gives us an advantage and high utilisation rates.

"We are also building new revenue streams by licensing our PTA and paraxylene technologies."

James Yim, head of BP's aromatics business in Asia, said: "This is an efficient plant with a good market position in the region.

"Recron Malaysia, part of the Reliance Group, is already our largest customer in Malaysia and Reliance Industries is a significant feedstock supplier at Kuantan, so Reliance is a natural owner of this plant."

BP has raised about $33 billion through divestments since the start of 2010 as it looks to finance settlements and the clean-up effort from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico over two years ago. It aims to shed a further $5 billion off assets before the end of this year.

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