BEIJING May 3 PetroChina has yet to
decide when it will start up its new $6 billion refinery complex
in China's landlocked southwest, after local residents expressed
safety concerns following an earthquake two weeks ago, according
to a company statement.
The company would go through "stringent check and approval
procedures according to national standards," before deciding on
a start-up schedule, it said in a statement published on Friday
on sina.com and cited by a PetroChina media official.
PetroChina's Sichuan Petrochemical Co Ltd was earlier
expected to start test runs at its 200,000 barrels per day (bpd)
refinery around mid-April, according to the engineering company
building the refinery. That was a delay from an original plan to
bring the plant online in December.
China's first major refinery in the landlocked southwest was
reviewed by central authorities following a deadly earthquake in
Sichuan in May 2008 before finally being approved.
The 38 billion yuan ($6.2 billion) investment includes a
800,000 tonnes per year ethylene complex that makes feedstocks
and intermediates for petrochemicals.
PetroChina in March completed laying a crude oil pipeline
linking the country's northwest to the refinery, located about
25 kilometres from Chengdu, capital of the densely populated
A second PetroChina official said on Friday that a slight
delay might be a good thing for the refinery, given weak fuel
The Sichuan plant is expected to process crude oil from
PetroChina's oilfields in the northwest -- mostly from the
remote Xinjiang region -- as well as from central Asian
neighbour Kazakhstan, which has been sending oil to Xinjiang via
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Tom Hogue)