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New refining and chemical facility online in China

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

China Petroleum and Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec), China, has officially begun operations at its integrated refining and ethylene complex in Quanzhou, Fujian province. The facility, a joint venture between Sinopec, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco, has required a total investment of approximately US$ 5 billion and is China’s largest integrated refining and chemical facility. Sinopec owns a 50% share in the project, with ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco owning 25% each.

Triple capacity

This sizeable investment has tripled refining capacity from 80 000 to 240 000 bpd, as well as adding the petrochemical facility, comprising an 800 000 tpy steam cracker, an 800 000 polyethylene unit, a 400 000 tpy polypropylene unit, and a 700 000 tpy paraxylene unit. A 250 MW cogeneration facility has also been constructed to supply electricity.

Meeting demand

This new project is intended to help China keep up with the growing domestic demand for fuels and chemical products, as well as contributing to the development of the nation’s petrochemical industry.

At present, approximately half of China’s demand for oil is satisfied by imports, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East being the main suppliers. With domestic demand predicted to grow 8% in 2010, China has plans to construct additional refining complexes.

Further investment

At the end of October, Sinopec inked a preliminary deal with Kuwait Petroleum International to construct a US$ 9 billion refinery near Zhanjiang, south China. The facility should process 15 million tpy of crude, as well as producing 1 million tpy of ethylene.

Reports reveal that Sinopec will own a 50% share of the project; the rest being shared between Kuwait Petroleum International and its foreign partners.

The environmental impact of this project has been hotly contested and its original location, near Guangzhou, was altered. The refinery is due to come onstream in 2013.

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