According to the press release, “Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) have agreed to formation of a joint venture related to the ongoing development of Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) Limited, formerly the Red Sea Refining Company.
Presided over by His Excellency, Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors, leaders of the two companies — Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, and Fu Chengyu, chairman of the Sinopec Group – formally announced the agreement in Dhahran on Saturday.
The joint venture agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec, signed in March 2011. Following Saturday’s JV agreement, Sinopec will hold equity interest of 37.5 percent in YASREF, with Saudi Aramco holding the remaining 62.5 percent.
The YASREF joint venture marks another significant phase of several progressing partnerships between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec across the hydrocarbon value chain in Saudi Arabia and in China. Saudi Aramco and Sinopec both bring significant knowledge and expertise to the joint venture, which represents the strengthening of their strategic partnership to enhance the trade of transportation fuels between a major energy producer and a major consumer. In-Kingdom refineries, such as the one being built by YASREF, possess the location advantage to supply domestic and international markets to the East and West.
“Our mutually progressing partnership with Sinopec has continued to flourish across the hydrocarbon value chain from crude oil supply to refining and petrochemicals in Fujian to YASREF today, and is a testimony of our continued efforts to enhance collaboration between the two companies,” Al-Falih said. “YASREF, being Sinopec’s first international downstream investment, will definitely strengthen further the longstanding bond between the two companies, and I am confident it will also yield mutual benefits for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China.
“YASREF is uniquely placed to seize market opportunities, and it demonstrates our unwavering commitment to significantly grow our downstream portfolio, and in creating win-win partnerships for us and our stakeholders,” Al-Falih added. “Among YASREF’s many contributions will be to provide training, employment and industrial and economic development opportunities for Saudi nationals and for the growth of local enterprises.”
“Sinopec and Saudi Aramco have enjoyed substantial cooperation in the fields of gas exploration, oil refining, oil trade, and engineering services. The implementation of this project will usher in a new chapter for Sinopec’s investment in refinery and petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia,” Fu said. “It will also help to extend the strategic cooperation of the two companies in the petroleum and petrochemical value chain, and further strengthen the complementary strategic partnership of the two parties. Sinopec is very pleased to contribute to the already solid economic ties between China and Saudi Arabia, whilst furthering our commitment to social responsibility and the pursuit of green, low-carbon development.”
Sinopec has partnered with Saudi Aramco, along with ExxonMobil, in the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, and Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Company Limited in China’s Fujian Province, as well as with Sino Saudi Gas Limited, an in-Kingdom gas exploration company. Sinopec, the biggest Asian-owned refiner operating in Asia, is also Saudi Aramco’s largest crude oil buyer.”
Read more: Saudi Aramco Press Release