JV formed to expand Chinese refining, retail operations

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 30 -- ExxonMobil Corp., Saudi Aramco, and Sinopec Mar. 30 announced two joint ventures aimed at expanding a Chinese petrochemical refinery and operating a chain of 750 retail outlets in China's Fujian Province.

The Fujian Refining & Ethylene JV Project and the Fujian Fuels Marketing JV, valued at a total $5 billion in investment, represent the first fully integrated refining, petrochemicals, and fuels marketing project with foreign participation in China.

The Fujian Refining JV, which will be headquartered in Quanzhou, will triple the existing refinery's capacity to 240,000 b/d from 80,000 b/d when it starts up in early 2009. The upgraded refinery will primarily refine and process sour Arabian crude.

In addition, the project will cover construction of an 800,000 tonne/year ethylene steam cracker, an 800,000 tpy polyethylene unit, a 400,000 tpy polypropylene unit, and an aromatics complex to produce 700,000 tpy of paraxylene.

Support facilities including a 300,000-tonne crude berth and power cogeneration also will be built.

The venture, to be called Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd., will be owned by Fujian Petrochemical Co. Ltd. 50%, ExxonMobil China Petroleum & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. 25%, and Saudi Aramco Sino Co. Ltd. 25%. The project is expected to start up in early 2009.

The Fujian Fuels JV, formally registered as Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd., will manage and operate 750 retail outlets and a network of terminals in Fujian Province under the ownership of Sinopec 55%, ExxonMobil 22.5%, and Aramco 22.5%.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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