Saudi Arabia and South Africa has inked an agreement to explore the construction of an oil refinery and petrochemical facility in the latter country.
According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the new complex will fall under the supervision and cooperation of state-owned oil giants Saudi Aramco and South African National Oil Company through a memorandum of intent (MoI) signed by both firms.
The location of the new facility will be agreed by both sides at a later date, the news agency added.
The agreement was signed at a reception on 19 January, 2019 for Eng Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, and Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, the kingdom's Minister of Trade and Investment. Both were received by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The MoI aims to strengthen joint cooperation between Saudi Arabia and South Africa in the exploration, production, refining, storage, marketing, transportation, and distribution of oil and gas; in addition to applying modern technologies in the oil and gas industry.
It also reaffirms the strength of the trade, economic, and diplomatic ties binding the two countries and efforts exerted to further enhance and consolidate them, as reported by SPA.
The news comes amid a busy start to the year for Aramco.
Larsen & Toubro Hydrocarbon Engineering and Subsea 7 won an engineering, procurement, construction, and installation order from the oil and gas behemoth in January 2019, marking the consortium’s fifth contract from Aramco.
Aramco also awarded two engineering, procurement, and construction contracts worth $1.3bn (SAR4.8bn) to Italian oil and gas heavyweight Saipem in the same month, as reported by Construction Week.