(File pix) Petroliam Nasional Bhd president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin says the oil giant may venture into solar, wind or other new energy sources. Pix by Salhani Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR: PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is considering venturing into renewable energy (RE) to stay relevant in the global energy industry, said president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

Petronas could venture into solar, wind or other new energy sources, Wan Zulkiflee said, adding that the matter was in the evaluation stage.

“We are evaluating on what type of new energies are suitable for us and where we can make money. It is not a matter of just being involved in RE, or for the sake of following others who are already involved.

“We want to know where we can position Petronas for the long term because in all of our analyses, oil and gas will still be our core business for at least in the next 20 to 30 years.

“We are currently exploring all new energy avenues such as solar, wind or other energies, but more work needs to be done before we decide on what type of RE that we are keen on,” he told NST Business in an interview recently.

RE is expected to grow rapidly with the weight of growth shifting towards Asia, according to a 2017 energy outlook report published by BP recently.

Renewables in power are projected to be the fastest-growing fuel source at 7.6 per cent per year, more than quadrupling until year 2035.

Renewables account for 40 per cent of the growth in power generation, causing their share of global power to rise from seven per cent in 2015 to nearly 20 per cent by 2035.

“In Petronas, we do a 20-year scenario. From our analyses, until 2037, oil and gas will still be our core business, but we see investment in new energy as a potential business opportunity for the longer term.

“On a global energy mix, based on our analyses as well, which ever way you slice and dice, oil and gas will still be about 55 per cent of the energy mix globally.

“For the renewable, it is about 18 per cent (of the global energy mix). So, we are definitely evaluating the options we want to delve into. There are many parts of the value chain we need to determine first before making a firm decision on it,” Wan Zulkiflee explained.

“There are a lot of work to be done in-house, and until we have completed it, then only can we say for certain this is what we are going to do, why we are going to do it, and how we are going to do it. That will be the time we will announce it,” he added.

The European Union (EU) is expected to lead the way in terms of the penetration of renewables, with the share of renewables within the EU power sector doubling to reach almost 40 per cent by 2035.

However, China will be the largest source of growth over the next 20 years, adding more renewable power than the EU and the United States combined.

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