Saudi Aramco and joint venture partners NORINCO Group and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group plan to start construction of an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in northeast China.

Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company (HAPCO), a joint venture between Aramco (30 percent), NORINCO Group (51 percent) and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group (19 percent), is developing the complex that will combine a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and a petrochemical plant with an annual production capacity of 1.65 million tonnes of ethylene and two million tonnes of paraxylene.

Construction will start in the second quarter of 2023 after the project secures the required administrative approvals. It is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Aramco will supply up to 210,000 bpd of crude oil feedstock to the complex, which is being built in Panjin, China’s Liaoning province, the company said in a statement.

Aramco Executive Vice President of Downstream Mohammed Y Al Qahtani said: “This important project will support China’s growing demand across the fuel and chemical products.”

NORINCO Group Deputy General Manager Zou Wenchao stated that the large-scale refinery and petrochemical complex is a key project of the group to implement and realize the joint development of the high-quality Belt and Road initiative, promote industrial restructuring, and enhance the oil and petrochemical sector to become stronger, better and larger.

He added that the project will be important in deepening economic and trade cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia and achieving common development and prosperity.”

Panjin Xincheng Chairman Jia Fei said that the project is significant for Panjin to promote increasing chemicals and specialty products, strengthening the integration of the refining and chemical industry.

In February 2019, Aramco said the project’s total value was more than $10 billion, making it the largest Sino-foreign joint venture.