China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. have received government approval to start initial work on an oil refinery and chemical project in southern China. The approval allows the partners to start feasibility studies on the project. The proposed ethylene plant in Nansha is planned with a production capacity of 1 mln tpa. The Nansha complex, with a planned investment of US$5 bln, would be the largest joint venture in China, exceeding the nearby Nanhai petrochemical facilities built by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
Sinopec plans to halt expansion work on the ethylene unit at its Guangzhou refinery. The existing 200,000 tpa ethylene unit will be closed after the Nansha plant starts operation. Sinopec had planned to increase the Guangzhou refinery's annual ethylene capacity fourfold to 800,000 tons.
China plans to increase oil-processing capacity by 25% by 2010 to meet rising consumption of fuels and petrochemicals.