Final touches on Aramco’s arrival at Renault-Geely thermal plant – 17/01/2023, 07:11

Saudi Aramco logo in the Abqaiq oil field

By Norihiko Shirouzu and Gilles Guillaume

BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) – Renault and China’s Geely Holding are working to finalize a deal to enter Saudi Aramco as an investor and partner in a gasoline engine and hybrid technology joint venture.

The sources added that the Saudi oil producer is in advanced talks to buy 20% of the yet-to-be-named entity that Renault and Geely want to set up this year.

The joint goal is to create a new equipment supplier with a potential production capacity of five million low-emission and hybrid engines and related transmissions by 2023, according to a document prepared by the three companies and seen by Reuters. year

Aramco’s investment will bring Renault and Geely’s stakes to 40% each in the venture, which combines the diamond group’s core assets in combustion engines on the one hand, and the automaker’s technologies and related assets on the other. Petrol and Chinese hybrid, sources added.

The development respects the original spirit of the Horse project, which put Renault and Geely on parity, another source familiar with the matter said.

Renault and Geely declined to comment on the report, but Saudi Aramco could not immediately be reached for comment.

Codenamed “Project Horse” on the Renault side and “Rubik” on the Geely side, the new venture aims to scale traditional internal combustion engines and develop the most efficient gasoline engines and hybrid systems possible. The industry-wide priority is an expensive transition to 100% electric vehicles, two of the sources said.

According to the document, Aramco’s investment will be used to support the development of decarbonization technologies for gasoline engines. The Saudi tanker will also contribute to the research and development of key technologies for engines and transmissions, particularly synthetic fuel solutions and next-generation hydrogen technologies.

The deal still needs to be approved by the boards of Renault and Geely, one of the sources said. According to him, the three groups are working to finalize the letter of intent in the coming weeks.


Geely and Renault said last year that the company would hire 19,000 workers at 17 engine and transmission plants and three research and development centers.

By splitting off its heat engine activities, Renault intends to focus on its electric car venture, Ampère, where it wants to invest its historic partner Nissan as part of efforts to rebuild its alliances.

For Geely, the transaction is part of a partnership strategy to expand beyond China.

Among the technologies transferred to the joint venture, two of the sources said it will focus on an advanced 4-cylinder engine designed specifically for gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.

According to one of the sources, this next-generation unit could be used only as an electric generator to charge the batteries, not to drive the wheels. In this case, the operation of the gasoline engine can be described as “exceptionally efficient mode”.

Geely has already announced that it has signed an agreement with the German company Mercedes, in which it is a shareholder, on the development of gasoline engines for hybrid cars.

This isn’t the first time a company has worked on keeping low-consumption hybrids in the cars’ energy mix alongside the coming wave of 100% electric vehicles.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has defended the Japanese giant’s continued investment in hybrids, such as the Prius precursor model, citing the fact that 100% electric vehicles remain unattainable and charging infrastructure is incomplete.

(In Dubai with Maha El Dahan, French version by Federica Mileo; Editing by Kate Entringer)

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