Saudi Aramco signs agreement to form Chinese JV

Saudi Aramco has signed an agreement to form a joint venture (JV) with the Chinese conglomerate Norinco Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in Panjin city of Liaoning province.

CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser (center) with Chairman of NORINCO Group, Jiao Kaihe (left) and Governor of Liaoning Province Tang Yijun (right) in Beijing, China. (Image source: Saudi Aramco) The partners will establish a new company, Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Co, as part of a project that will include a 300 thousand bpd refinery with a 1.5 million metric tonnes per year (mmtpa) ethylene cracker and a 1.3 mmtpa PX unit.

Aramco will supply up to 70 per cent of the crude feedstock for the complex, which is expected to start operations in 2024. Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco CEO, said, “Our agreement with NORINCO and the Liaoning province is a clear demonstration of Saudi Aramco’s strategy to move from beyond a buyer-seller relationship, to one where we can make significant investments to contribute to China’s economic growth and development.”

“Our participation in the integrated refining and petrochemical project in Panjin will strengthen our collaborative efforts to enhance energy security, revitalise key growth sectors and industries in Liaoning and also meet rising demand for products and goods in China’s Northeast region,” he added.

Aramco stated that there are additional plans to establish a fuels retail business. Saudi Aramco, North Huajin and Liaoning Transportation Construction Investment Group Co are expected to form a three-party marketing JV to develop a retail fuel station network in the target markets by the end of 2019.