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Aramco, Norinco sign JV agreement for major downstream project in China

by Martin Menachery on May 17, 2017


Abdulaziz M Al-Judaimi (sitting, left), senior VP, downstream, Saudi Aramco, and Zhao Gang, deputy GM, Norinco Group, signed the joint framework agreement in the presence of HE Khalid Al-Falih (standing, third from left), minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Saudi Arabia, and Yin Jiaxu (standing, fourth from left), chairman, Norinco Group.
Abdulaziz M Al-Judaimi (sitting, left), senior VP, downstream, Saudi Aramco, and Zhao Gang, deputy GM, Norinco Group, signed the joint framework agreement in the presence of HE Khalid Al-Falih (standing, third from left), minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Saudi Arabia, and Yin Jiaxu (standing, fourth from left), chairman, Norinco Group.

Saudi Aramco, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group, Co, Ltd signed the joint development agreement and held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Saudi Aramco - NORINCO Refining, Petrochemical and Retail Project in Panjin, in northeast China's Liaoning province.

The idea for this project received a major boost during the visit by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to China in March 2017, when Saudi Aramco and NORINCO signed the project Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

HE Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Saudi Arabia, who was in Beijing to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, attended the ceremony where Saudi Aramco and NORINCO signed an agreement to pave the way for a joint development agreement to build a refining, chemicals and retail network in Panjin.

Later on site in Panjin, Abdulaziz M Al-Judaimi, senior vice president, downstream, Saudi Aramco, attended a ground-breaking event, which was also attended by Yin Jiaxu, chairman, Norinco Group, and Zhang Lei, Liaoning executive deputy governor, Nabil Al Nuaim, president, Aramco Asia, and Gao Ke, Panjin municipal party secretary. Representatives from relevant ministries, provincial departments, NORINCO, Saudi Aramco and Huajin Group also attended the event.

Al-Judaimi SAID: “Norinco and the government of Liaoning province are amongst the best partners to be in this project, considering the great value proposition they are bringing to the table. There might be some challenges that we may face in the journey of implementing this project in the future, as in any worthy endeavour, but I am confident that we will be able to overcome them taking into consideration first Saudi Aramco’s proven record of project management skills, while executing mega projects, and second the strong commitment shown by all the stakeholders to work together as one team to make sure this project is a big success.”

The governor of Liaoning province Chen Qiufa announced the project commencement and the joint development agreement was signed by Al-Judaimi, and Zhao Gang, deputy GM, Norinco Group.

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, fine chemical and specialty chemical sectors.

Having completed the environmental impact assessment and won 23 project supporting documents in less than three years, the project obtained final approval from Liaoning Provincial Development and Reform Commission.

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 petrochemical industry in China in partnership with the globally recognised enterprise working in this field.

The project will significantly expand Saudi Aramco’s footprint in China’s downstream industry, considering the paramount importance of the Chinese economy for Saudi and Saudi Aramco’s future investments. It will also enhance the competitiveness of NORINCO’s petrochemical and value-added chemical divisions, and promote the overall economic revitalisation in Liaoning and Panjin. The project will also significantly expand Saudi Aramco’s footprint in China’s downstream industry.

This project will potentially become a key building block in both companies’ portfolios and a new landmark in the industry since it has all ingredients for integration, optimisation, capital efficiency and located in a very promising region. Both partners will bring their best practices in project management and execution and operations to add value to this project.


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