Saudi Aramco, a top energy supplier, vowed to further support the country's low-carbon transition on Tuesday with the establishment of the Nonmetallic Excellence and Innovation Center for Building Materials in Beijing.
Jointly set up by the company and the China Building Materials Academy, an institute under China National Building Material Group－the world's largest building materials manufacturer－the center aims to accelerate the application of nonmetallic materials for the construction and building industry, deploy future innovative technologies and create more sustainable solutions, the company said.
In comparison with conventional building materials, nonmetallic materials, which include petroleum-based polymers, are more durable and less expensive. They will play a key role in promoting low-carbon infrastructure in China, Saudi Aramco said.
"Over the past 30 years, our relations with Chinese partners have grown far beyond the buying and selling of crude oil to include investments in numerous sectors such as refining and petrochemicals, technology, research and development; and today in nonmetallic materials," said Aramco Asia President Anwar Al Hejazi.
Zhan Yanjing, vice-president of CNBM, said the inauguration of the center opens a new chapter for cooperation with Saudi Aramco, which can be regarded as a key measure for boosting the "dual circulation "development in the country.
The center should lead international development through innovation, share the best practices, enhance the independent innovation capabilities of both sides and promote innovation achievements to more markets participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, Zhan said.
An analyst said there are various potentials for nonmetallic materials in various fields, including the automotive sector, building and construction sector, and renewables.
"China's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 could boost demand for more advanced and low-carbon materials to be used in the construction and building industry, such as the new application of nonmetallic materials," said Zhu Yi, a senior analyst for metals and mining at Bloomberg Intelligence.
"As China's economy shifts from high-speed to high-quality growth, higher-end materials will be in great need," she said. "Supply-side reform has reduced low-end overcapacity, and the country aims to increase medium to high-end supplies through new technologies and innovation."
Saudi Aramco said the company looks forward to contributing more to China's economic development and common prosperity and aims to be side-by-side with its Chinese partners. It said earlier that ensuring the security of China's energy needs remains Saudi Aramco's highest priority, not just for the next five years but the next 50 years and beyond.
Source: China Daily
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