Saudi Aramco has agreed to acquire a 17% stake in refining company Hyundai Oilbank (Seoul, South Korea) for about $1.25 billion. Aramco Overseas Co., a Saudi Aramco subsidiary, will purchase the stake from Hyundai Heavy Industries, the parent of Hyundai Oilbank. Hyundai Heavy Industries announced the deal in January but said that Aramco would buy 19.9% of Hyundai Oilbank.
Aramco says the deal supports the company’s crude-oil placement strategy by providing an additional outlet for Arabian oil at Hyundai Oilbank’s refinery. It is also the latest in a series of downstream and chemical investments by Aramco. “Saudi Aramco continues to strengthen its position in the downstream sector,” says Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, senior vice president/downstream at Aramco. “This acquisition demonstrates our investment in the highly complex refining sector in Asia.”
Hyundai Oilbank operates an integrated production complex at Daesan, South Korea, based on a 650,000 b/d refinery. The company makes petrochemical products at the refinery, including aromatics and propylene. Hyundai Cosmo, a joint venture with Cosmo Oil (Tokyo, Japan), has a combined 1.42 million metric tons/year of benzene, toluene, and xylenes capacity at the Daesan refinery, Hyundai Oilbank says.
Hyundai Oilbank and Hyundai Chemical, a Lotte Chemical subsidiary, are planning a world-scale petrochemical complex at Daesan that will use heavy fuel oil as feedstock to produce olefins and other downstream products. Start-up is slated for 2021.
Aramco owns a majority stake of 63.4% in another South Korean refiner, S-Oil.
By Ian Young
Source: Chemical Week
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