China to more than double sour crude processing capacity by 2005

By an OGJ Online Correspondent

BEIJING, June 27 -- Under a 5-year energy development plan, China plans to raise its sour crude refining capacity to 75 million tonnes/year by 2005, up from 30 million tonnes at the end of 2000.

Sour processing capacity will make up 28% of the 270 million tonnes/year crude distillation capacity planned by 2005.

To achieve the target, Chinese officials said they must build eight or nine sour crude processing bases in southern and eastern China.

Investment in refining and petrochemical units will be open to major foreign companies and private entities, but China will hold majority stakes in refining projects and ethylene crackers during the period.

The plan also anticipates China's ethylene demand will grow by 8.5% a year to 15 million tonnes by 2005, but that domestic ethylene production will only account for 9 million tons by 2005.

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