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Aramco, Sinopec, Exxon's China Joint Venture to Cost $5 Billion

Saudi Aramco, U.S. giant Exxon Mobil and China's Sinopec will invest $5 billion in their refinery, petrochemicals and marketing joint venture, much more than originally planned, they said on Friday.

When the project in southeastern Fujian province was first agreed in 2005, estimated investment for the refining and petrochemicals plants was $3.5 billion.

Production is expected to start in early 2009, the companies said in a joint statement released at an inauguration ceremony held in Beijing.

An Aramco spokesman declined immediate comment on the reasons for the increase or how much of the investment was going to the marketing venture, which will manage around 750 service stations and a network of terminals in Fujian.

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