Quanzhou — Representatives from Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobil, Sinopec, and the Fujian provincial government attended a forum to mark the 10th anniversary of establishing the Chinese joint venture Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company (FREP) in Quanzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province, on March 23.
The partnership, which was originally established to support the growing demands for refined fuels and petrochemical products in the Chinese market, is now a key element in Saudi Aramco’s downstream strategy.
The forum brought together about 110 participants, including board members, representatives from shareholders, and management staff. Also attending the event were: Said A. Al Hadrami, vice president of Saudi Aramco International Operations; Warren Wilder, vice president of Saudi Aramco Chemicals; Gu Yuefeng, chairman of the board and president of FREP; all FREP board members; Gan Seow Kee, president of ExxonMobil China Petroleum & Petrochemical Company; Xu Dingping; William Keillor; and Chen Xiaobo.
On behalf of Aramco Asia, Al Hadrami delivered a speech emphasizing the strong partnership between the shareholders and recognizing FREP management and employees for the achievements over the past decade.
“Representing China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, we partners brought to the table vastly different experiences, skills, management styles and cultures — as we took the pioneering step of forming China’s first fully integrated refining, petrochemicals, and fuels marketing venture with foreign participation,” Al Hadrami said.
Aramco has been working closely with shareholders at all levels to ensure safety, environmental protection, and sustainability at FREP since business operations commenced. It produces 7.8 million tons per year of refined products and 3.5 million tons per year of chemical products, including polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), benzene, paraxylene, ethylene oxide, and ethylene glycol.
A decade of expansion
“Over the past decade, FREP has achieved significant expansion, growing our business in both the refining and petrochemical sectors,” Al Hadrami said. “We tripled our crude capacity in short order, increasing it again to the current 280,000 barrels per day as of 2013. The ethylene cracker’s capacity also increased, from 900,000 to 1.1 million tons per year. And we started up our new Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol unit.”
Local stakeholders sent congratulatory messages to FREP prior to the forum for its accomplishment. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporate wrote that it hoped FREP could summarize its achievements and experiences over the past 10 years, uphold and implement new development concepts, remain committed to regulatory compliance in a people-oriented, customer first, win-win cooperation; and further develop its innovative approach while building FREP into a worldclass petrochemical company with sustainable competitiveness.
At the forum, FREP was recognized as a role model for successful international refining and chemical collaboration that has brought significant benefits to shareholders and customers alike.
To further streamline the company’s chemical business in China, in 2012, Aramco opened its chemicals office with the objective of utilizing FREP’s product to create new business and support Saudi Arabia’s economy. It is Aramco’s first chemical sales office worldwide.
The first sales contract was signed with Jufu on Dec. 31, 2012, and Aramco Asia made the first sale from FREP of chemical products PE and PP on Jan. 1, 2013. The sales represented a major step toward achieving Saudi Aramco’s strategic goal of becoming a leading integrated energy and chemicals company.
Photo caption: Said Al Hadrami, vice president of Saudi Aramco International Operations, emphasized the strong partnership between the shareholders and recognized FREP management and employees for their achievements over the past decade.