ExxonMobil, Guangzhou Petrochemical to expand refinery

ExxonMobil and China's Guangzhou Petrochemical Corp. are expected by yearend to sign a $3.24 billion contract by which they will jointly expand capacity at Guangzhou Petrochemical's China, refinery.

By an OGJ correspondent

BEIJING, July 24 -- ExxonMobil Corp. and China's Guangzhou Petrochemical Corp. are expected by yearend to sign a $3.24 billion contract by which they will jointly expand capacity at Guangzhou Petrochemical's Guangzhou, China, refinery.

The 50:50 joint venture will expand the refinery's capacity to 10 million tonnes/year by 2005 from 7.5 million tonnes/year. A larger plan calls for expanding the refinery to 18 million tonnes after 2005.

The JV will complete a feasibility study on the expansion plan in the third quarter.

The companies also are in talks to expand Guangzhou Petrochemical's ethylene cracker capacity to 300,000 tonnes/year by 2005 from 200,000 tonnes/year. After 2005, a further expansion would give the crackers a capacity of 800,000-1 million tonnes/year.

The JV follows a strategic partnership agreement between ExxonMobil and Guangzhou's parent company, China's state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), in which ExxonMobil paid $650 million for 19% in Sinopec's $3.46 billion initial public offering in 2000.

More in Refining & Processing