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Saudi Aramco breaks ground on joint venture refining, petrochemical and retail project in Panjin, China

Saudi Aramco, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group, Co., Ltd. signed a joint development agreement and held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Saudi Aramco – NORINCO Refining, Petrochemical and Retail Project in Panjin, in northeast China’s Liaoning province on May 15.

Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president, Downtream, and Zhao Gang, deputy general manager of the Norinco Group, signed the “Norinco and Saudi Aramco Joint Framework Agreement on Refining, Petrochemical, and Retail Project” in Beijing, China.

HE Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, who was in Beijing to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, attended the ceremony where Saudi Aramco and NORINCO signed the agreement to pave the way for the joint development agreement to build a refining, chemicals and retail network in Panjin.

Later in Panjin, Al-Judaimi attended a groundbreaking event, which was also attended by Yin Jiaxu, chairman of Norinco Group; and Zhang Lei, Liaoning executive deputy governor; Nabil Al Nuaim, president of Aramco Asia; and Gao Ke, Panjin Municipal party secretary.

The project is a key element in China’s petrochemical industry forward planning and the revitalisation drive for the old industrial base in northeast China. It is a major project in NORINCO’s drive to develop the industrial value chain, facilitating overseas oil exploration and trade, as well as growth in the petrochemical, final chemicals and specialty chemical sectors.

The goal of the project is to build a world-class refining and chemical integration base, with global best practice standards of cost-saving, sustainability and advanced technology. The construction will be based on the principles of integration, clustering development, differentiation and scale up.

The project will further promote the implementation of China’s “Belt & Road” initiative and the safe, efficient and sustainable development of China’s petrochemical industry. It will significantly expand Saudi Aramco’s footprint in China’s downstream industry and enhance NORINCO’s competitiveness in the petrochemical and value-added chemical space. The project also will potentially become a key building block in both companies’ portfolios.