A joint venture petrochemical company with a total investment of over 71 billion yuan (10.6 billion U.S. dollars) from China and Saudi Arabia was inaugurated in the city of Panjin in northeast China's Liaoning Province Saturday.
The company is one of the largest China-Foreign joint ventures in recent years in terms of investment scale.
The company, funded by world-leading energy company Saudi Aramco and two Chinese companies, Xincheng Group and China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), is expected to be put into operation in 2024, and will promote the development of a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Panjin.
With the capacity to refine 15 million tonnes of oil and produce 1.5 million tonnes of ethylene and 1.3 million tonnes of paraxylene a year, the annual sales revenue of the company is expected to exceed 100 billion yuan.
"We anticipate that this company will be a world-class petrochemical base in a few years," said Jiao Kaihe, Chairman of NORINCO.
The new company is a clear demonstration of Saudi Aramco's strategy to move from a buyer-seller relationship to one where the company can make significant investments to contribute to China's economic growth and development, said Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco's president and CEO.
He also believes this project will serve as a model to collaborate with China's Belt and Road Initiative and Vision 2030 of Saudi Arabia.
The three partners signed an agreement in February, with Saudi Aramco holding 35% of the JV, NORINCO and Panjin Xincheng holding 36% and 29% respectively.
Panjin, about 500 km northeast of Beijing, is an important petrochemical industrial base of the country. Total sales income of more than 90 petrochemical enterprises in the city reached 189.8 billion yuan in 2018.
"This city is home to a large number of skilled petrochemical workers and technicians, and this project will create 3,000 jobs in Panjin," Nasser said.
The city has also reserved 14 square kilometers of land and built a 300,000-ton crude oil terminal for the project.
Above-scale petrochemical industrial added value rose 15.1 percent year on year in Liaoning last year, with crude processing volume up 13.5 percent to 80.96 million tonnes.
According to the provincial department of commerce, Liaoning's actual use of foreign capital increased by 36.2 percent in 2018.
Chen Qiufa, secretary of the CPC Liaoning Provincial Committee, hoped this new joint-stock company could help optimize the structure of the petrochemical industry of the province and boost the local economy.