Petronas To Spawn New Entity To Focus On Clean Energy SolutionsAuto News
A new entity will be set up by Petronas to focus on the research and development of clean energy solutions by mid-2022. According to the company, it will work independently in its pursuits but also collaboratively with its Carbon Management Unit.
Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President and Group CEO of Petronas, said: “[…] it is envisaged that PETRONAS will evolve into an energy ‘superstore’ that will provide customers with a suite of energy and solutions that power businesses and fuels progress in a just and sustainable manner,”
“2022 will be a year that PETRONAS will need to step up even more meaningfully in pursuing its purpose: to become a progressive energy and solutions partner enriching lives for a sustainable future. Aligned to our three-pronged growth strategy and Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 aspiration, PETRONAS is committed to ensuring that energy can continue to be produced and delivered responsibly and sustainably,” he said.
The as-yet-unnamed independent entity will explore clean energy solutions such as hydrogen, a potential fuel source that is of particular interest to them and will act almost like a venture capital or private equity fund to foster new innovations and technologies.
It’s not known how much money Petronas is willing to pour into these new clean energy ventures, but revealed their overall capital expenditures to be between RM40-50 billion in 2022, split between its domestic and international operations.
Petronas is coming to realise that its role as a leading petrochemical manufacturer might be a lot less relevant once the reserves of crude oil eventually dry up and/or become too scarce and expensive that the market for it vanishes.
On the topic of the sudden surge in crude oil prices reaching triple digits in US dollars per barrel. Taufik pointed to that being due to the market instabilities caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, adding: “This is a bit of a departure from where we believe it should be; fundamentally, based on the investments in the sector and the system release of volume from Opec+, the price should be within the US$70-80 per barrel range.”
Besides its interest in hydrogen potentially becoming the fuel source of the future, Petronas is also looking into the development of renewable and carbon-neutral synthetic fuels that can be used as 1-to-1 replacements for petrol and diesel for combustion engines that are much less harmful to the environment. However, the challenge here is producing it cheaply enough and with as minimal environmental impact as possible.
Formula 1 has committed to a targeted net-zero carbon footprint by 2030 with these kinds of e-fuels being the lynchpin in achieving that goal. Naturally, Petronas will want to work closely with Mercedes-AMG in developing them for the team’s next generation of power units.