PetroChina to delay start-up of 100,000 bpd refinery in China's northwest to late 2008

PetroChina plans to put off the start-up of a new 100,000 bpd refinery in China's remote northwest by almost a year. Building problems in the Gobi Desert due to hostile weather conditions and extreme terrains, will defer the start up to Q4-2008. The company also plans to defer start up of a 1 million tpa ethylene project to 2009 from an earlier plan of 2008. The delay will increase the country's dependence on new refining capacity being added on the east coast to feed its growing demand. The new facility is designed to process crude from China's central Asian neighbour Kazakhstan through a pipeline. PetroChina started work on the Dushanzi facility in end-2005 to double the refinery's capacity to 200,000 bpd and to add a petrochemical complex at an estimated total estimated cost of US$3.2 bln. The plant bought key technologies for its hydrocracking and reforming facilities from U.S. firm UOP LLC, a unit of Honeywell International Inc. All other facilities that were ordered in China, have been delayed in delivery, as the manufacturers struggle to deliver orders in time due to overwhelming demand.
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