|Saudi oil refinery deal shows close ties|
In what Riyadh calls "the largest expansion by any oil company in the world", Sinopec's deal on Saturday with Saudi oil giant Aramco will allow a major oil refinery to become operational in the Red Sea port of Yanbu by 2014.
The $8.5 billion joint venture, which covers an area of about 5.2 million square meters, is already under construction. It will process 400,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day. Aramco will hold a 62.5 percent stake in the plant while Sinopec will own the remaining 37.5 percent.
The deal "represents a strategic partnership in the refining industry between one of the main energy producers in
Sinopec, the largest producer and supplier of oil products in
Al-Falih called the endeavor the latest chapter in a long history of cooperation, collaboration and trade between
The setting up of the refinery would promote economic development, said Shen Yamei, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies.
The deal was signed during Premier Wen Jiabao's six-day trip to the
The move reflected the two countries' "firm willingness to join hands in coping with challenges and safeguard common interests amid profound adjustments to global situations", Wen told Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz upon arrival in
Wen, the first Chinese Premier to visit
Imported oil accounted for 56.5 percent of
Nayef, who was appointed Crown Prince in October and is also Riyadh's deputy prime minister and minister of interior, said Saudi Arabia is willing to further cooperation across a wide range of areas, including trade, energy, infrastructure, culture, and security.
Wen had a number of meetings on Sunday, including with the Saudi Arabian King and Prime Minister Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Abdullatif al-Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Wen called for an end to violence against civilians in
"This trip promotes the current strategic partnership between
With political turbulence in
Earlier on Sunday, Wen visited Abdul-Rahman Ali Al-Jeraisy, president of the Saudi Arabia-China Friendship Association.
Abdullah Saeed Al-Mobty, chairman of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Wen that trade cooperation should deepen between
Wen will address the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in