PetroChina allowed to triple small Hohhot refinery

BEIJING (Reuters) - PetroChina 0857.HK601857.SS has won government approval to triple the capacity of its small refinery in Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia in north China, Xinhua news agency reported on its website on Wednesday.

The top Chinese oil firm plans to invest 8.3 billion yuan ($1.22 billion) to expand the 30,000 barrels-per-day refinery to 100,000 bpd while adding other facilities including a 150,000 tonnes-per-year polypropylene unit.

The expansion will begin this year and be completed by 2012, the report said, without elaborating on possible crude oil sources for the project.

China aims to get rid of oil processing plants that are smaller than 20,000 bpd by 2011 and encourage the closure, merger or transformation of refining units with capacities of 20,000-40,000 bpd as part of measures to oust outdated capacity, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The world’s second largest oil user would keep tight controls on new refining and ethylene projects to prevent overcapacity, Industry and Information Technology Minister Li Yizhong said in March.

($1=6.818 Yuan)

Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Nick Macfie