Aramco, Total to double Saudi refining investment

By SUMMER SAID

DUBAI -- Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Satorp, said Wednesday it will double its capital to 7.12 billion Saudi riyals ($1.95 billion) in the first quarter of next year to fund its project in the eastern city of Jubail.

The capital hike will be paid in cash by shareholders in proportion to their stakes, Satorp said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.

Saudi Aramco owns 62.5% of Satorp and 37.5% is controlled by France's Total.

The capital-raising plan, the second this year, won't change ownership levels.

Last year, Saudi Aramco general manager of corporate project finance development Jamal Al Rammah said Satorp plans to float a 25% stake in the company by around 2014.

Satorp is building a 400,000 bpd export refinery in Jubail in the kingdom's eastern region, which is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2013.

The refinery complex, estimated to cost about $14 billion to build, is part of a drive by the world's top oil exporter to boost refining capacity.

It has said previously that a SAER3.75 billion Islamic bond in late 2011, that will be used to help finance the project, was 3.5 times oversubscribed.


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