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Saudi Aramco To Partner With Car Giants On Engine Business

French Renault and Chinese Geely are putting the finishing touches on a deal that will add Aramco to their partnership for the development and marketing of gasoline engines and hybrid automotive technology.

This is according to unnamed sources who spoke to Reuters, saying the Saudi state oil company is negotiating the acquisition of a 20-percent stake in the partnership between the carmakers. The partnership focuses on the development of a new powertrain technology.

Plans are for the development of an annual production capacity of more than 5 million "low-emission and hybrid engines and transmissions", according to a document seen by Reuters.

Renault and Geely announced their tie-up in November last year, saying its purpose was “to create a new global leader to develop, manufacture and supply best-in-class hybrid powertrains and highly efficient ICE powertrains.”

The Renault press release from the time also said the new venture would be a standalone company with equal ownership shares for the partners. It also said it expected to supply its products for all brands of the two carmakers.

The chief executive of Renault commented that internal combustion engines would remain “a critical part of the automotive supply chain for decades to come.” The chairman of Geely, for his part, focused on the sustainability aspect of the venture.

Aramco is already active in internal combustion engine efficiency technology, so the venture between Renault and Geely would be a good fit for the state major, which, like Renault, believes internal combustion engines will survive well into the future.

Although the Reuters sources did not disclose any financial details about the Aramco deal, they did say that the Saudi company’s contribution would target the decarbonization of gasoline engines and research and development of powertrain technologies, including hydrogen technologies.

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Development of synthetic fuels is also on the agenda—another area where Aramco is already active.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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