Saudi Aramco set to build a refining and petrochemical complex


Saudi Aramco with collaboration of its Chinese partners is set to start construction of a massive refining and petrochemical complex in the Asian nation, accelerating a project which was put on pause during the pandemic.

According to media reports, the Saudi company said development is due to begin in the second quarter and the project is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Aramco agreed to start construction of the complex in Liaoning Province with North Huajin Chemical and Panjin Xincheng, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said at the China Development Forum in Beijing.

The US$10 billion project saw finalization in 2019 when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited China. This was seen by Beijing as a landmark deal with a key ally.

Commenting on the project, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said, “We see a major win-win opportunity to build a world-leading, integrated downstream sector in China, with special emphasis on the high conversion of liquids directly into chemicals as part of our broader liquid-to-chemicals business expansion plans”.

He added saying, Aramco wants to be an all-inclusive source of energy and chemicals for China’s long-term energy security and high-quality development.

About the Saudi-China joint-venture project

The Saudi-Chinese refining complex will include a 300,000 barrels-a-day refinery and a petrochemical plant with annual production capacity of 1.65 million tons of ethylene and 2 million tons of paraxylene. Aramco will supply as much as 210,000 barrels per day of crude feedstock to the project.

Aramco will own 30 percent, Norinco Group — the parent company of North Huajin Chemical — will hold 51 percent and Panjin Xincheng will hold the balance.

Aramco is expanding oil production capacity by a million barrels per day to 13 million barrels by 2027 and will increase gas production by more than 50 percent by 2030, which would add an extra one million barrels a day of oil for export.

Aramco is also partnering with China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co to produce steel plates in Saudi Arabia with a lower carbon footprint, he said. The company also signed a letter of intent to be part of a new entity being created by Renault SA and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co amid efforts to develop more efficient and lower-emission engines and hybrid systems, he said.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., also known as Baoshan Iron & Steel and Baosteel, is a maker of steel based in Shanghai, China, and a subsidiary of state-owned China Baowu Steel Group (formerly Baosteel Group). It is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Group (formerly Arabian-American Oil Company) or simply Aramco, is a Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran. As of 2022, it is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue. Saudi Aramco has both the world’s second-largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 270 billion barrels (43 billion cubic metres), and largest daily oil production of all oil-producing companies. It is the single greatest contributor to global carbon emissions of any company in the world since 1965.

Saudi Aramco operates the world’s largest single hydrocarbon network, the Master Gas System. In 2013 crude oil production total was 3.4 billion barrels (540 million cubic metres), and it manages over one hundred oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet (sft) of natural gas reserves. Saudi Aramco operates the Ghawar Field, the world’s largest onshore oil field, and the Safaniya Field, the world’s largest offshore oil field.

On December 18, 2019, the company’s shares commenced trading on the Tadawul stock exchange. The shares rose to 35.2 Saudi riyals, giving it a market capitalization of about US$1.88 trillion, and surpassed the US$2 trillion mark on the second day of trading. In the 2022 Forbes Global 2000, Saudi Aramco was ranked as the 3rd-largest public company in the world.


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