BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s private refiner Xinhai Group expects to more than double its crude oil refining capacity by the end of 2021, a company spokeswoman said on Friday, which would make it the biggest oil processor in northern China’s Hebei province
Based in the port city of Cangzhou in Hebei, the refiner is adding a crude distillation unit of 8 million tonnes per annum, equivalent to 160,000 barrels per day (bpd), on top of its existing 12,000 bpd plant.
“The new refining facilities are scheduled to be completed and start operation by the end of next year,” the spokeswoman said, but added that the exact start-up date could move ahead of or behind schedule based on the construction.
Xinhai received its first crude oil import quotas in 2017 and was allocated a 3.72-million-tonne import quota in 2020.
With the launch of the 400,000 bpd Hengli Petrochemical refiner and a similar-sized one by Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp, Chinese private refiners have been leading the crude processing capacity expansion in the country.
The Xinhai spokeswoman did not say if the company was applying for a bigger import quota for 2021.
Beijing plans to raise its non-state import quota for 2021 by 20% on-year for the non-state refiners.
“It seems very difficult for Xinhai to receive more quotas for 2021, unless they can prove to be an advanced integrated complex with both refining and chemical production lines. Even though, they will still face very fierce competition with other mega-sized complexes across the country,” said Ding Xu, an analyst at China-based Longzhong consultancy.
Reporting by Muyu Xu in Beijing and Chen Aizhu in Singapore; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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