Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company, plans to increase its corporate venture capital arm by up to $200 million as early as April, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
It will focus on investing in innovation and technology across Asia-Pacific, according to sources who declined to be identified because the matter is private. One of the sources added that the additional funding could change because the plan is still being finalised.
Petronas said in a response on Friday that it "plans to allocate additional funds to Petronas Ventures, increasing the size of its venture capital arm from the $350 million previously announced in 2019," but did not specify how much.
Petronas, Malaysia's only Fortune Global 500 company, has been looking to diversify in the face of volatile oil markets.
In 2019, Petronas Corporate Venture Capital was established as the state oil company's first venture capital arm.
According to its website, Petronas Ventures has invested in companies such as Malaysian agriculture technology startup Brantree Technologies and US-based waste-to-energy company Ekamor.
Petronas Ventures' main goals include scouting for niche innovative technology to enhance the group's core operations and growth areas that could become new sources of revenue, the company said on Friday.
Petronas has also been expanding in renewable energy, launching its Gentari clean energy unit in June.
Gentari plans to build 30 to 40 gigatonnes of renewable energy capacity in Asia Pacific by 2030, with India and Australia serving as key growth markets, according to Sushil Purohit, the company's chief executive.
It acquired Wirsol Energy, an Australian renewables firm with solar farms and battery energy storage, in February. Gentari declined to disclose the purchase price, but one source estimated the deal to be worth A$1 billion ($670 million).