|16 August, 2019

Sinopec launches sustainability report in Saudi Arabia

The joint venture of Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (Yasref), is one of the largest refineries in the world

Image used for illustrative purpose. General view of Aramco tanks and oil pipe at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. General view of Aramco tanks and oil pipe at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Saudi Arabia -  China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has officially launched its Sinopec in Saudi Arabia: Sustainability Report on Serving the Construction of the Belt and Road in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The report showcases how Sinopec is fulfilling its economical, safety, environmental and social responsibilities in Saudi Arabia. It is the first sustainability report issued by a Chinese company in Saudi Arabia, said a statement from the company.

Having operated in Saudi Arabia for 19 years, Sinopec has from the beginning adhered to local laws and regulations and dedicated to fulfilling its social responsibilities. Abiding by the principle of

"mutual benefits and win-win cooperation", the company has been committed to strengthening its operations and management to meet the highest global standards on safety, health, environmental protection, and the protection of employee interests.

With its world-class refining and chemical technologies, equipment and engineering capacity, Sinopec has carried out extensive and in-depth collaborations with local enterprises in Saudi Arabia, supporting the social and economic development of China and Saudi Arabia.

The joint venture of Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (Yasref), is one of the largest refineries in the world and one of the largest investments by China in the gulf area, with a total investment of $8.6 billion and an annual processing capacity of 20 million tonnes of crude oil.

In January 2016, President of China, Xi Jinping, and King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, witnessed the inauguration of Yasref. The successful operation of Yasref supports the transformation and upgrading of Saudi Arabia's economy, and has established the project as the flagship program on Sino-Saudi collaborations in the energy sector.

Deepening Sino-Saudi cooperation has enabled Sinopec to shift its investment focus in Saudi Arabia from collaborations in resource and capital to collaborations in innovation and R&D, supporting the economic and social development of the two countries.

In January 2016, Sinopec established a R&D centrw, Sinopec Tech Middle East, at Dhahran Techno Valley in Saudi Arabia. The centre focuses on fundamental, forward-looking and applied technology researches. It aims to boost the development of the petroleum and petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia and bring the Sino-Saudi cooperation to an even higher level.

Sinopec is committed to ensuring the highest standard of production safety and operation management. While implementing safety management practices systematically, the company provides quality services and deliver high-standard projects to clients. The drilling teams of Sinopec Oilfield Service Corporate (SSC) has operated safely for Saudi Aramco for over 12 years while the Saudi Arabia branch of Sinopec Engineering has operated safely for Sabic for a total of over 20 million hours.

In alignment to its principles around business ethics and standardized operations, Sinopec is committed to cooperate with suppliers and subcontractors to jointly build and maintain a responsible and healthy industrial ecosystem.

With a strict environmental management system in place, Sinopec strives to achieve development that is green, circular and low-carbon in Saudi Arabia and minimise the impacts of its project operations in the country. In effort to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, Sinopec conducts assessments of its major projects on biodiversity to proactively mitigate or eliminate the projects' environmental impact.

SSC attaches great importance to the classification of industrial and household wastes, investing over RMB3 million ($426,202) on waste management on average every year. All wastewater emitted from the company and its project sites are processed collectively. The processed water meets discharging standards that allow the water to be used for plant watering and drinking by birds in the desert.

Sinopec values its employees strongly. Abiding by the principle of “humanism, responsibility and win-win cooperation”, the company has worked towards providing more job opportunities for local communities.

Sinopec established the Sinopec Saudi Arabia Training Center in 2008, and as of the end of 2018, has provided over 1000 rounds of training that garnered an attendance number of more than 37,000 by its Saudi Arabian employees. It also held 9 rounds of trainings for more than 170 staff in key posts to help them gain and develop their global perspectives. In 2018, SSC invested over RMB20 million ($2.84 million) to provide training to approximately 20,000 employees.

In addition, Sinopec is committed to creating a fair and harmonious working environment for its employees. In 2018, the company provided more than 3,000 of its employees with mental health consultation services.

Sinopec is committed to supporting the development of local communities and the upgrade of local industries. The company undertook two water conservancy projects in Saudi Arabia, of which one is the water purification and transmission project of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (Mewa) of Saudi Arabia.

The project, completed by Sinopec in 2018, is the largest water recycle and reuse project of Mewa to date and has played a crucial role in supporting the development of the Al-Ahsa Oasis region. In operation, this project has been supplying purified irrigation water to this region, benefiting 1 million residents. Sinopec was also contracted by Saudi Arabia's Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) to support the construction of the Yanbu-Madina Phase-3 Water Transmission System Project, which has the capacity to provide 550,000 cu m of water supply every day.

Dai Houliang, president of Sinopec, said: “Going forward, following the ten principles outlined by the United Nations Global Compact, Sinopec will continue to support sustainable development.”

“We strive to provide more employment opportunities and continue local procurements to support the development of local communities and businesses. We value the culture, traditions and legacies here, and will continuously to engage our employees to give back to the society,” Houliang said.

Xia Qingfeng, director general of communications division of State owned Assets Supervision and Administration (SASAC), said: “Saudi Arabia is an important partner to China in the Belt and Road Initiative. The country has been China's largest trading partner in the West Asia and Africa regions for 13 years, and China has been its largest trading partner in the world for six years.”

“The sustainability report launched by Sinopec sheds lights on how Chinese companies in Saudi Arabia can communicate transparently and serves as a good example for other companies,” Qingfeng said.

Yin Lijun, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Saudi Arabia, said: “The Sino-Saudi strategic parentship is at its best and the two countries have become important cooperative partners to each other from a global perspective.”

“Sinopec actively contributes to the development of Saudi Arabia's local industrial production as well as the diversification of its local economy, providing meaningful support to the realisation of the Saudi Vision 2030. The efforts of Sinopec have been widely recognized by both governments and other partners of Saudi Arabia,” Lijun added.

Sinopec' spokesperson at the report launch event, LV Dapeng said: “As the first sustainability report that is issued by a Chinese company in Saudi Arabia, the report not only introduces what we've done in the past, but it also promises what we are going to deliver in the future.”

“In a bid to support the realisation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and Saudi Vision 2030, Sinopec will continue to contribute to the social and economic development of Saudi Arabia and the happiness of the country's people,” Dapeng added. – TradeArabia News Service

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