The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia and His Excellency Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China today jointly inaugurated the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) refinery.
The inauguration ceremony took place in Riyadh in conjunction with President Xi Jinping's official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was attended by HRH Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister; HE Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco.
Established on January 14, 2012, YASREF is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, which holds a 62.5% share, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (“Sinopec”), which holds a 37.5% share. YASREF represents both companies' focus on driving downstream growth across the entire hydrocarbon chain.
In conjunction with the inauguration, the YASREF joint venture partners, Saudi Aramco and Sinopec, signed a “Framework Agreement for Strategic Cooperation” to enhance the competitiveness of the crude oil supplied by Saudi Aramco to Sinopec and to actively explore cooperation opportunities in key areas including oil and gas services, refining, chemicals, crude oil supply, sales, petroleum services, petrochemical services, technology development and promotion, and new energy.
HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Chairman of Saudi Aramco said: “The mutually beneficial relationship between China and Saudi Arabia has rapidly strengthened in the last two decades. China is the Kingdom’s largest trading partner and Saudi Aramco is proud to be China’s number one supplier of energy. YASREF, which is a partnership between Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, is part of Saudi Aramco’s strategy to expand and diversify its national and international investment portfolio.”
HE Al-Falih continued: “Three strategic factors will help to further strengthen the relationship and transform it from transactional supply to a deeper, long-term partnership. First, is the doubling of Saudi Arabia’s energy supply to China, coupled with continued downstream investment to support economic growth, both in China and the Kingdom. The second, is implementing His Excellency Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative that will enable both the Kingdom to become a stronger partner to China, and also increase China’s investment in the Kingdom’s economic and industrial cities so that the Kingdom is a hub for China to access its Middle East and Africa markets. Thirdly, is the need to continually improve the mutual cooperation between the Kingdom and China in the areas of research, innovation, knowledge transfer, and culture.”
HE Al-Falih concluded: “The MOUs signed today between the Kingdom and China are evidence of the focused leadership of both countries to take the relationship to the next level.”
Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco said: “YASREF is a win-win partnership with Sinopec and a key element of Saudi Aramco's strategy of driving value across the hydrocarbons value-chain to maintain our position as the world’s most reliable energy supplier. YASREF converts Arabian heavy crude oil into high-value products for international markets. The facility, which embeds world-class technical standards, increases Saudi Aramco’s refining capacity and is an important step in our strategy to become the world’s leading integrated energy enterprise. Today's inauguration and cooperation agreement signing reflect shared confidence in our long-term partnership with Sinopec and in the potential opportunities we can create together through deeper, long-term collaboration.”
Dr. Wang Yupu, Chairman of Sinopec said: “YASREF will play a significant role in promoting the economic and trade cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia and in enhancing the long-standing friendship between the two countries. Sinopec possesses world-class refining and chemical technologies, strong engineering and construction capabilities, and developed a set of technologies on aromatics production that is both advanced and cost effective. We are delighted to further expand and deepen our cooperation with Saudi Arabia in oil and gas exploration and development, refinery and chemical technologies and engineering services and equipment production, to promote the mutual development of both economies and contribute to the well-being of our citizens.”
Mohammad S. Alshammari, YASREF President & CEO said: “The official inauguration of YASREF marks a proud accomplishment for YASREF, Saudi Aramco and Sinopec. YASREF is a global refinery leader that is helping global customers to meet their energy demands.”
China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner and the countries’ close cooperation in the energy sector, notably through Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, has greatly benefitted both economies. Sinopec is now Saudi Aramco’s largest crude oil trading partner and onshore drilling service provider. The newly signed agreement will enable the two companies to further enhance their relationship and jointly provide advanced, high quality products and services along the hydrocarbon industry chain.
Located in Yanbu' Industrial City on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, the world-class YASREF refinery has the capacity to refine 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Arabian heavy crude and produces over 13.5 million gallons per day of ultra-clean transportation fuels and other high-value refined products. YASREF has state-of-the-art refining facilities such as a distillate hydrocracker and hydrotreaters. It has capacity to deliver close to 100,000 barrels per day of clean, high-octane gasoline through a gasoline complex with an advanced continuous catalytic reformer.
On January 15, 2015, YASREF completed its first shipment, sending 300,000 barrels of clean diesel fuel from the YASREF Marine Terminal. Going forward, YASREF will further enhance its refinery and chemical capabilities by leveraging the cooperation between Sinopec and Saudi Aramco. In December 2015, YASREF won ‘Construction Project of the Year' at the highly prestigious Platts Global Energy Awards in New York City.