KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is allocating about RM60 billion for capital expenditure (capex) in financial year ending Dec 31, 2022 (FY22) compared with RM30.5 billion a year earlier as the Malaysian national oil company prepares for the resumption of business activities, which were earlier disrupted by Covid-19-driven movement restrictions, and as the group sets aside money for clean energy or non-hydrocarbon-related ventures.
"This year, we expect to almost double that [capex] amount which is RM60 billion, because of catch-up and the return of [business] activities. This is also the time we have to make inroads in some material steps into the non-hydrocarbon side of things," Petronas chief financial officer Liza Mustapha said on Thursday (June 9) at the MIDF Conversations event, which was held virtually.
MIDF group managing director Datuk Charon Mokhzani was the moderator for the event.
Liza said that out of Petronas' planned RM60 billion capex allocation for FY22, about RM40 billion has been earmarked for the oil and gas business besides non-hydrocarbon–related operations while the balance of the capex allocation has been earmarked to finance Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd's (PetChem) wholly-owned subsidiary Petronas Chemicals International B.V. (PCIBV) proposed acquisition of the entire stake in Sweden-based specialty chemicals group Perstorp Holding AB for €1.54 billion (about RM7.02 billion) from Financiere Foret S.A.R.L.
Petronas owns a 64.35% stake in PetChem, according to PetChem's latest annual report.
Looking ahead, Liza said non-hydrocarbon-related income is expected to account for about 30% of Petronas' revenue.
"[About] 30% of our revenue should be coming from something which is not related to hydrocarbons.
"We have to factor in [business] growth, otherwise, we will not be able to manage the energy transition and we will miss our target of achieving [net] zero [carbon] emissions by 2050," she said.
According to her, about 10% of Petronas' RM60 billion capex allocation for FY22 will be earmarked for non-traditional businesses such as specialty chemicals and solar energy.
"Previously, I think there was never a plan on what rate it should be [for the clean energy segment] because there was no allocation from the top. So, it didn't really take off.
"So, we need to rethink our decision on the capital allocation [for the clean energy segment] and put it aside, because if we leave it at that and let them go with the flow, we are going to be a year behind the target again," she said.
Petronas' financials improved in 1QFY22. In a statement on May 31, 2022, Petronas said profit after tax rose to RM23.44 billion in 1QFY22 from RM9.22 billion a year earlier while revenue climbed to RM78.75 billion from RM52.55 billion.
"Despite favourable [first quarter] performance, the high oil and gas prices are expected to remain vulnerable with increased volatility due to geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainties.
"Petronas will continue to strengthen our operational excellence to maximise value creation whilst intensifying our growth and sustainability agenda in Malaysia and internationally,” the company said.