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Abdul Aziz Al Hajri, director of Adnoc’s Downstream Directorate Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will continue to look for opportunities in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, and Africa, to grow its petrochemicals and refining business, a top executive of the firm told Gulf News in an interview.

“Our focus remains in the UAE but we will continue to look for new opportunities in the wider Middle East, Asia and select African areas where we have a good reach and there are good prospects for us to place our crude and grow our business,” said Abdul Aziz Al Hajri, director of Adnoc’s Downstream Directorate.

Adnoc is currently investing in India’s $44 billion (Dh161 billion) Ratnagiri refinery and petrochemicals complex in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, to tap the rapidly growing petrochemicals market in the South Asian country.

As per an agreement inked earlier this year, Adnoc and Saudi Aramco will jointly own a 50 per cent stake in the new joint venture company — named Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (RRPCL) — while the remaining stake will be held by Indian companies like Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.

Strategic market

Al Hajri said India is a strategic market with rapid growth expected in petrochemicals business due to economic development and population growth.

“India is a very strategic market for us and we have strategic government-to-government relations. We expect demand for petrochemicals to grow in the coming years that would help our business,” he said, adding that they will continue to evaluate opportunities in the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan and other countries for refining, storage and distribution.

Al Hajri also said Adnoc is closely working with Mubadala to find new opportunities in Pakistan and other countries, after the two companies signed a framework agreement earlier this week to explore growth opportunities in refining and petrochemicals business across the globe.

“This agreement is a natural evolution of the close relationship between Adnoc and Mubadala. It will ensure that we continue to maximise value from our hydrocarbon resources.”

On the expansion of Ruwais petrochemicals complex, Al Hajri said it will act as a catalyst for the entire region’s growth, with new industrial parks coming up at the site. “We are working with a multitude of companies to expand the complex,” he said.

Adnoc is investing $45 billion over the next five years to expand Ruwais complex, to double its crude refining capacity and increase petrochemicals production.

Rizwan Khalil Al Shaikh, manager, strategy and business development of Adnoc, said Ruwais is well positioned to tap the international markets and grow its business.

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Rizwan Khalil Al Shaikh, manager, strategy and business development of Adnoc Image Credit: Supplied

“With almost all potential building blocks such as olefins, aromatics, ammonia, hydrogen etc available now or shortly once we have implemented our $45 billion investment programme, we are evaluating various bilateral arrangements to secure the two billion plus market that is less than three days sailing time from Ruwais.

“Certain value chains allow for some part of the production to occur in Ruwais, while the materials can be finished in the target markets.”