Saudi Aramco has announced two multi-billion dollar investments into oil refineries in China, as the state owned company bolsters its relationships with partners in its largest export market.

Yesterday (March 27), Saudi Aramco said it had signed an agreement to acquire a 10% stake in Shenzhen-listed Rongsheng Petrochemical for $3.6bn. Under the agreement, it will supply 480,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Arabian crude oil to China’s largest integrated refining and chemical facility in Zhejiang province.


Saudi Aramco also announced on March 26 that it had entered into a joint venture (JV) with Norinco Group and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group. The JV will invest in a greenfield refinery and petrochemical complex in China’s northeastern province of Liaoning, which Saudi Aramco will supply with 210,000 bpd of crude oil as feedstock.

“This important project will support China’s growing demand across fuel and chemical products,” said Mohammed Al Qahtani, Aramco’s executive vice president of downstream, who added that China and the wider region is an “increasingly significant driver” of global petrochemical demand.

Construction on the new complex is due to start in the second quarter of 2023, and is expected to be fully operational by 2026. Last year, global investment into oil and gas reached its highest level since 2009, according to fDi Markets.

Eli Lilly doubles Limerick investment to $1bn

US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has announced it will double its investment to about $1bn in the Irish city of Limerick, where it is building a new biologics substance manufacturing facility.

The company, which had previously announced an investment of $500m, is currently constructing a facility in IDA Ireland's business park in Raheen. The investment is expected to create 300 highly skilled jobs across areas including engineering, scientists and operations.


Eli Lilly has had a presence in Ireland since 1978 and already employs more than 2700 people in Cork, where it has a large manufacturing campus as well as global business solutions centre.

Comcast pours $250m into US network

Multinational telecommunications conglomerate Comcast will invest $280m in 2023 to improve its network across the US Pacific Northwest.

The company said on March 27 that it will significantly expand its fibre network and expand broadband and video services to communities throughout Oregon and Washington. By the end of 2023, Comcast expects that 40% of its network in the Pacific Northwest will offer multi-gig internet speeds. 

And finally: the World Bank published a report yesterday (March 27) warning that growth in the global economy could slump to a three-decade low by 2030. The multilateral development bank said between 2022 and 2030, the average global potential gross domestic product growth is expected to decline to 2.2%, roughly a third down from the rate that prevailed in the first decade of this century.