Saudi Aramco plans $10 bln China oil refinery complex for 2026

SINGAPORE, March 27 (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) and its Chinese partners aim to start full operations at a refinery and petrochemical project in northeast China in 2026 to meet the country’s growing demand for fuel and petrochemicals, the state-owned major said on Sunday.

The project in Liaoning province’s city of Panjin, expected to cost $10 billion, will be Aramco’s second major refining-petrochemical investment in China.

Joint venture Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company (HAPCO) will build and operate the complex that will house a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil refinery and a cracker with annual production capacity of 1.65 million tonnes of ethylene and 2 million tonnes of paraxylene, Aramco said in a statement.

Construction at the complex will start in the second quarter after the project secures the required administrative approvals, Aramco said. The plant is expected to be fully operational by 2026, it added.

Aramco will supply up to 210,000 bpd of crude oil as feedstock for the plant.

State-owned NORINCO Group, a Chinese military equipment maker, owns 51% of HAPCO while Aramco and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group hold stakes of 30% and 19%, respectively.

Separately, Aramco on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with the southern Chinese province of Guangdong to explore cooperation in sectors including energy, finance, research and innovations, according to a post on the provincial government’s website.

Guangdong, China’s largest provincial economy, has drawn global firms like Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and BASF (BASFn.DE) each building large-scale petrochemical complexes producing high-value chemicals.

Reporting by Florence Tan; additional reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Sonali Paul and Christian Schmollinger

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