Sinopec is in the process of building a 160,000 bpd crude processing unit at a subsidiary in East China, expected to be complete by H2-2013, as per Reuters. The new refining capacity will mainly cater to planned petrochemical capacity expansion at the same plant of 800,000 tpa of ethylene by the end of 2014. The expansion, planned to increase refining capacity of Yangzi Petrochemical twofold, will treat lower quality crude oil. The expansions will include eight production units, would raise the plant's total ethylene capacity to 2.3 million tpa. The petrochemical expansion, however, awaits approval from the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In view of the environmental rules that are getting more stringent, the government has asked the company to reduce the total amount of pollutants despite an expansion in production capacity. This could be quite challenging. After this, the project moves a step closer to the final nod of approval from the National Development & Reform Commission.