Saudi Aramco said on Friday it would enter into a joint venture to develop a major refinery and petrochemical complex in China expected to start operations in 2024.
The Saudi oil giant said the new complex would be located in Panjin, in the northeastern province of Liaoning.
“Aramco has taken the final investment decision to participate in the development of a major integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in northeast China,” the Saudi company said in a statement.
Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company, a joint venture between Aramco, North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corporation and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group, will develop the liquids-to-chemicals complex, Aramco added.
The announcement follows Tuesday’s signing of a deal between Aramco – through its Saudi Aramco Asia Company (SAAC) – and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation – known as Sinopec – for potential downstream collaboration in China.
SAAC and Sinopec also aim to support Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company (FREP) in conducting a feasibility study into the “optimisation and expansion” of capacity.
“This [deal] provides a basis for continued downstream collaboration between Aramco and Sinopec,” Aramco said in a statement.
The Saudi group said the venture would capitalise on each company’s strengths and their existing long-term relationship.
As well as the FREP venture, Aramco and Sinopec jointly operate the Sinopec Senmei (Fujian) Petroleum Company in China, and Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company in Saudi Arabia.
“Such collaborations promote our downstream integration and expansion strategy in Asia,” Mohammed Al Qahtani, Aramco senior vice-president of downstream, said.
Yu Baocai, Sinopec president, said the cooperation agreement would “support our refinery feedstock optimisation and downstream petrochemical development”.
- George Russell