China's refining-petrochemical project to cut imports of chemical raw materials
Published: May 16, 2022 08:33 PM
A screen capture of CCTV report

A screen capture of CCTV report

China's largest integrated refining-petrochemical project was officially put into operation on Monday, and the facility is expected to reduce the imports of chemical raw materials by up to 10 percent.

The integrated refining and petrochemical complex, built by Shenghong Refining & Chemical Co in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province, includes a refinery, an aromatics unit, an ethylene plant and supporting terminals, with an annual processing capacity of 16 million tons of crude oil. 

The percentage of domestically-made core equipment exceeds 90 percent, setting a number of records including the largest diameter tower, and the largest normal-decompression distillation unit and cracking furnace in China.

Yu Huiyong, a senior official of the company, said in an interview with the China Media Group the facility will greatly enhance the self-sufficiency rate of China's basic chemical raw materials sector and reduce dependence in imports, especially for paraxylene.

Last year, China's new chemical materials production totaled about 29 million tons, while consumption came to about 40.5 million tons. The self-sufficiency rate of new chemical materials only reached 71 percent. 

"China's petrochemical industry is facing the structural contradiction of excess refining capacity and insufficient supply of chemical products, especially high-end petrochemical products," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Monday.

Experts noted that the country still faces shortages of basic organic chemical raw materials like aromatics and olefins. 

In some key areas like resin materials, special fibers and electronic chemicals, the shortages are more prominent, which restricts the development of the high-end downstream manufacturing sector.

Therefore, oil refining enterprises need to transform and upgrade from being fuel-based plants to become integrated refining and chemical factories to reduce costs and make full use of resources.

Yu noted that the project will provide raw materials for strategic emerging industries like new energy, new materials, electronic chemistry and biotechnology, promoting the transformation and upgrading of the national manufacturing industry.

Global Times