Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has confirmed it is in talks to acquire a minority equity stake in Hengli Petrochemical to bolster its presence in the Chinese market.  

The company has signed an MOU with Hengli Group for the potential acquisition of a 10% stake in the latter’s petrochemical unit.  

Hengli Petrochemical operates a refinery and integrated chemicals complex in Liaoning Province, with a capacity of 400,000bpd.  

It also has facilities across Jiangsu and Guangdong Provinces.  

Aramco and Suzhou-based Hengli Group did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction, which will be subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals.  

For Aramco, the MOU forms part of its plan to forge long-term contracts for the supply of crude oil, develop its liquids-to-chemicals initiative and increase its downstream presence in important high-value markets. 

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Aramco Downstream president Mohammed Y Al Qahtani said: “This MOU supports our efforts to grow our global downstream footprint. We continue to explore new opportunities in important markets, as we seek to progress in our liquids-to-chemicals strategy. We look forward to forging new partnerships and are excited by the prospect of expanding our presence in the important Chinese market.” 

In September 2023, Aramco’s investment interests extended to Jiangsu Eastern Shenghong, where it signed an MOU to discuss a 10% stake in Eastern Shenghong’s petrochemical subsidiary, Shenghong Petrochemical.  

This subsidiary manages a 320 million barrels per day integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex. 

The following month, Aramco announced talks for a minority stake in Shandong Yulong Petrochemical, which is constructing a new oil refining and petrochemical complex in Yantai City, Shandong Province. 

The complex is expected to process around 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produce a considerable amount of petrochemicals and derivatives.