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Aramco-China 1st JV oil processing project in trial operation

TOKYO, May 31 (KUNA) -- China's first Sino-foreign joint venture integrated oil processing project, which involves Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), has gone into trial operation in eastern China's Fujian Province, the state-run China Daily reported Sunday.
The project, partnership of China, Exxon Mobile from the US and Aramco, is designed to integrate oil processing and petrochemicals production with marketing of refined oil, the daily said. The project in Quanzhou, a coastal city in Fujian, will also involve an 800,000 tons/year ethylene cracking facility, an 800,000-tons/year polyethylene device, a 400,000 tons/year polypropylene device and a 700,000 tonnes/year paraxylene-arene facility, it said.
The project will jack up Fujian's annual oil refining capacity from 4 million tons to 12 million tons, according to the report. When it begins full operation in the second half of this year, the project will realize an annual output value of CNY 50 billion yuan (USD 7.3 billion).
In March 2007, Sinopec, China's leading oil refining group, and the provincial government of Fujian established two joint-venture companies with Exxon Mobile and Aramco with a total investment of nearly USD 5 billion.
One of the joint venture is the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 50 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the remaining 50 percent equally. The other is Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 55 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the rest 45 percent equally.
According to a local expert, given the insufficiency of oil supplies at home, it was an important strategy for China to attract oil-producing nations to invest directly in China's oil refining and petrochemical sector. The strategy could help make best use of China's huge oil market, advanced technologies from Exxon Mobile and abundant oil resources from Saudi Arabia, the report said. As for oil producing countries, the policy would give them access to China's enormous oil market and hence help them lessen their reliance on western oil markets. (end) mk.ajs KUNA 311838 May 09NNNN