Saudi's SABIC signs MOU to build petrochemical complex in China

A man walks past the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s Fujian provincial government to build a petrochemical complex.

SABIC is the third company to announce a large chemical investment in China over the past two months.

SABIC did not give any details of the investment or a timeline in a brief release, saying this is part of the firm’s strategy to diversify its operations and strengthening its position in the world’s top petrochemicals market.

The deal comes as U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil and Germany’s BASF have separately announced plans to build ethylene complexes in southern China’s Guangdong province, part of the country’s massive petrochemical building boom.

SABIC is already a partner with Chinese state oil and gas firm Sinopec Corp in an ethylene plant owned by Sinopec’s Tianjin Petrochemical Corp.

In Fujian on the east coast, Sinopec operates a joint-venture refining, petrochemical complex in city of Quanzhou in partnership with Saudi Arabian state oil and gas firm Saudi Aramco and Exxon Mobil.

The Chinese major is also building a separate ethylene plant in Gulei, in the same province.

Reporting by Aizhu Chen in BEIJING; Editing by Christian Schmollinger