Sinopec to enhance output

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, China's largest ethylene maker, plans to boost output by 6%, an increase from 9.1 million tons of oil in 2004 to 9.7 million tons this year. Production volume of ethylene is estimated to rise to 960,000 tpa from 956,000 tons achieved a year ago. The project, to expand ethylene and purified terephthalic acid operations, as well as other projects, is estimated at an investment outlay of 3 billion yuan this year, up from 2.2 billion in 2004. The company, a unit of Asia's top refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), witnessed crude oil cost rise of 25% last year as international crude oil price surged. The company plans to introduce measures to curb rising raw material costs, which in the current year are estimated to average between US$40 and US$45 a barrel. In an effort to continue cost-cutting efforts, including staff reductions and using larger quantities of low priced higher-sulfur imported crude oil at its refinery.
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