China Sinochem Group will lay the cornerstone of petrochemical complex and a new crude processing unit in Southeastern China around July 2020. The product portfolio expansion towards petrochemicals is the first of its kind for China Sinochem Group.

Reportedly, the petrochemical project will bolster the capacity of the company’s refinery to 300,000 bpd per day from the existing 240,000 bpd per day in Quanzhou, Fujian province. People aware of the happening believe the operation of a petrochemical plant to kick-start around June. It is worth mentioning that the complex comprises of naphtha cracker which has the capacity to produce one million tons per year (tpy) of ethylene.

Spearheaded by private chemical firms Zhejiang Rongsheng Holdings and Hengli Petrochemical, China has arguably become the world’s largest petrochemical importer. The two private chemical firms have propelled production of petrochemicals, including paraxylene (PX)—major raw material for water bottles and synthetic fiber. The product portfolio expansion is perceived to infuse investments in China.

Additions of refinery in Quanzhou comes against the backdrop of addition of around 900,000 bpd of refinery capacity in 2019 in China. Around 8% of national total refinery throughput was attributed to the addition of refinery which underpinned product exports and fuel glut in China.

The company is vying for a multi-billion dollar stock listing meant for its energy department and has counted on petrochemicals to boost China Sinochem’s refining and oil trading business which is reigning supreme in the mainland. Stakeholders see £3.5 billion (32.5 billion yuan) as a short in the arm in the roadmap of the company.

According to sources, the service contractor building the facilities Wood Group (W.G.L) commented that they were holding safety and quality checks amidst the completion of construction.

Sinochem is envisaging to start a new ethylene and refining facilities around second quarter of 2020. Bian Chenhui, an analyst who follows PX expansion of China was quoted saying that the company may start the operation of an 800,000 tpy PX unit by the end of the Q4 2020.

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