* Starts formal planning for the refinery, petchem complex
* New plant will be built in the Caojing industrial park
* Will shift some facilities at Gaoqiao refinery to new site
BEIJING, Nov 1 Sinopec Corp won
initial approval last month from China's top economic planner
for a plan to build a $10-billion refinery and petrochemical
complex in Shanghai, two company officials said.
China, the world's largest net importer of oil, is likely to
add 3 million barrels per day, or a quarter of new refining
capacity, between 2013 and 2015 to fuel economic growth,
industry officials and Chinese media estimate.
Top Asian refiner Sinopec has started formal planning for
the 400,000 barrels-per-day refinery and a 1 million
tonnes-per-year ethylene project in a plan to curb pollution by
shifting an old plant to Shanghai's southern edge, the officials
told Reuters this week.
The new Sinopec plant, designed to process mostly imported
crude oil, will be built in the Caojing industrial park, some 50
km from the centre of Shanghai.
"The initial approval allows us to start planning work,"
said a company official, adding that Sinopec had agreed with
Shanghai authorities in 2011 to shift some of the facilities at
its Gaoqiao refinery to the new site once it was ready.
The official declined to be named as he is not authorized to
speak to media.
The Gaoqiao plant in the densely-populated Pudong area,
which runs two crude processing units with a total refining
capacity of about 240,000 bpd, has stirred up resentment after
at least four refinery blasts in the last few years, local media
Growing public awareness of the need for a cleaner and safer
environment has prompted central economic planners to limit the
expansion of big industrial projects such as oil refineries and
the construction of chemical plants near residential areas.
The new Shanghai plant will need a final government nod and
environmental clearance, the officials said. It should take
about five years to build and will be ready near decade's end.
Similar investments could also be delayed due to tougher
environmental rules, changing market conditions and land issues.
Plans for a $13-billion refinery and petrochemical complex
in the eastern city of Taizhou, in which Royal Dutch Shell
is a partner, have stalled over efforts to find a
The plan for Sinopec's Shanghai refinery includes a new
crude oil terminal with the capacity to receive a 300,000-tonne
very large crude carrier.
The whole refinery and petrochemical project could cost more
than 60 billion yuan ($9.84 billion), domestic media have said.
Near the site of the new plant, Sinopec operates a similar
complex, Shanghai Petrochemical Corp, with a 320,000-bpd
refinery and an 850,000-tpy ethylene plant.
($1=6.0945 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar and