Saudi Arabian energy giant Aramco is considering establishing a joint venture (JV) with Rongsheng Petrochemical to advance its liquids-to-chemicals strategy.   

The collaboration is expected to be centred around the Saudi Aramco Jubail Refinery Company (SASREF), with China’s Rongsheng Petrochemical becoming a partner. 

Located in Jubail Industrial City within Saudi Arabia, the SASREF facility has a production capacity of 305,000 barrels per day (bpd), converting crude oil into a range of petroleum products.  

Aramco recently signed a cooperation framework agreement that outlines Rongsheng’s potential acquisition of a 50% stake in SASREF. 

This agreement also sets the stage for the development of a liquids-to-chemicals expansion project at SASREF.  

Additionally, it includes Aramco’s potential acquisition of a 50% stake in Rongsheng affiliate Ningbo Zhongjin Petrochemical (ZJPC) and participation in ZJPC’s expansion project. 

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In July 2023, Aramco, through its subsidiary Aramco Overseas Company based in the Netherlands, acquired a 10% interest in Rongsheng.  

Rongsheng holds a 100% equity interest in ZJPC, which operates an aromatics production complex and has a stake in a JV producing purified terephthalic acid. 

Aramco downstream president Mohammed Y Al Qahtani said: “These discussions highlight our ambition to advance our liquids-to-chemicals strategy with strategic partner Rongsheng, both in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China. In building on our existing relationship, we aim to advance our expansion in a key geography and attract new investment to the Saudi downstream sector.”  

Last week, Aramco confirmed that it is in discussions to acquire a 10% equity stake in the petrochemical unit of China’s Hengli Group.  

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

The company’s pursuit of strategic partnerships is not limited to Hengli Petrochemical and Rongsheng; it has also signed memorandums of understanding with Jiangsu Eastern Shenghong and Shandong Yulong Petrochemical.