China, Taiwan JV break ground on ethylene complex

Fujian Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (FPCL) and a consortium of Taiwanese companies have started construction of an integrated petrochemical complex at Zhangzhou Gulei Petrochemical Base (ZGPB), in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, southeastern China.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the grassroots petrochemical complex took place on Dec. 14, according to a release from state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), which holds 50% interest in FPCL.

Referred to as the Zhangzhou Gulei refinery integration project, the jointly owned Chinese-Taiwanese complex will include a 1 million-tonne/year ethylene complex, 16 planned chemical plants, as well as related terminals and electrical utilities.

Designed to demonstrate the mutual advantages available to the two countries as a result of increased industrial cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, the project is scheduled for startup in 2018, Sinopec said.

Earlier in the year, China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) approved overall development of ZGPB, which alongside total planned production capacities of more than 1.2 million tpy for ethylene and 1 million tpy for aromatics, also will include more than 15 million tpy of crude oil refining capacity, according to an Apr. 22 release from NDRC.

In addition to integrated refining and petrochemical operations, ZGPB will host installations for the storage and transport of raw and finished products, including a warehouse, tank farm, port, and terminals, NDRC said.

A local branch of NDRC also recently approved Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinochem Group, to expand its still relatively new 12 million-tpy refining complex (OGJ Online, July 10, 2014) at nearby Quanzhou, in southern Fujian Province, the Fujian Provincial Development and Reform Commission (FPDRC) said in a Dec. 4 release.

Due to be commissioned in 2018, the multibillion-dollar expansion will lift crude processing capacity at Quanzhou to 15 million tpy and includes construction of a grassroots 1 million-tpy ethylene plant, as well as additional specialty chemical units and associated utilities, according to FPDRC.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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