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China's CNPC breaks ground on $9.5-billion refinery, petchem complex

11 December 2018 IHS Markit Chemical Expert

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China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the parent of PetroChina, has broken ground on a 65.4-billion renminbi ($9.5 billion) refinery and petrochemical project at Jieyang, Guangdong Province, China, according to the China Daily. The project is a 60-40 joint venture (JV) between CNPC and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Wang Yilin, chairman of CNPC, attended the ground-breaking ceremony. The complex will have a refining capacity of 400,000 b/d, as well as capacity for 1.2 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene and 2.6 MMt/y of aromatics. Downstream products will include polyethylene, polypropylene, and styrene. PDVSA will supply some of the crude oil to the refinery. Test runs at the planned complex are expected to take place in late 2021 with full start-up to follow. The Jieyang project received approval from China's National Development and Reform Commission in 2012 and the plant was originally due to start up in 2015. But an environmental assessment of the project was not published until March 2018. Several adjustments were made to the project in the meantime including the addition of petrochemical capacities, according to press reports. Guangdong has become a hub for major petrochemical investments based on ethylene plants. China National Offshore Oil Corp. and Shell completed a major expansion of their JV at Huizhou, Guangdong, earlier this year and ExxonMobil announced plans in September to build a wholly owned complex at Huizhou. Sinopec is slated to complete a refinery-petchem complex at Zhanjiang, Guangdong, in 2019-20 and BASF announced a $10-billion petchem investment at Zhanjiang in July.

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