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Petronas looking at Cambodia again

Petronas looking at Cambodia again

130122 07
Petronas' employee filling oil for their customer since the last present in Cambodia. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Petronas is again eyeing Cambodia’s oil and gas sector, almost three years after withdrawing from the Kingdom, The Edge Malaysia reported yesterday.

According to Petronas President and CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas, Petronas, the national oil and gas company of Malaysia, will deliberate on the merits of re-entering Cambodia should the company be able to work out a win-win deal with the Cambodian authorities, the report  said.

“We will consider participating in Cambodia’s O&G sector if there are opportunities which are of interest and mutual value to both Petronas and Cambodia,” Shamsul was reported as saying.

Petronas did not reply to an email sent yesterday.

In March 2010, the Post reported that Petronas opened in Cambodia in 1994 with 19 petrol stations that dwindled to one.

The company, wholly owned by the government of Malaysia, finally exited the country in April 2010.

The Post quoted an internal memo sent from the company’s 29 Cambodian staff members to the management in November 2009, in which the employees said they were disheartened to hear the news.

“We know that Petronas Cambodia Co Ltd was not making any profit for the past several years, but in recent years we have turned around the company from making losses to breaking even, and this year we are making a profit,” they wrote.

Chanthol Sun, vice chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), told the Post yesterday that he did not have any information about Petronas returning but said he welcomed investment into Cambodia.

“I welcome all investors in every economic sector in Cambodia, including oil and gas,” he said.

Last month, The Malay Mail reported that Malaysian integrated chemicals producer Petronas Chemicals, a subsidiary of Petronas, was looking to expand its regional presence in Cambodia starting in 2013.

It reported President and Chief Executive Abd Hapiz bin Abdullah as saying that countries like Cambodia are big on agriculture and have growth potential for the chemical industry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne Renzenbrink at [email protected]