Sinopec investing $2.2 billion to expand refining capacity

Mumbai: Integrated energy and chemicals company China Petroleum & Chemicals Corporation (Sinopec) is planning to invest about 16 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) to expand facilities in central China.

Sinopec, which supplies two-thirds of China's auto fuel requirements, said it plans to double capacity at its Changling refinery in Hunan province to 10 million tonnes a year by 2010, at a cost of about 10 billion yuan, reports quoting company sources said.

Sinopec, China's largest refiner, said it plans to spend 6 billion yuan for upgrading its Baling plant, which produces chemicals from is Changling output.

China's fuel demand has kept pace with its economic expansion that touched 11.4 per cent last year.

The Beijing-based oil and gas producer said work at the Changling refinery may start this year. Sinopec is also weighing expansion plans for Anqing, Baling, Jingmen and Wuhan.

Sinopec increased oil processing by 6.3 per cent last year to 155.58 million tonnes, the company said last week.

China plans to increase annual oil-refining capacity by 25 per cent to 355 million tonnes by 2010 to meet rising demand for fuels and chemicals.

Sinopec's business covers oil and gas exploration, including refining and sales of oil and petrochemicals, chemical fibers, fertilizers and other chemical products, storage and pipeline transportation of crude oil and natural gas and other commodities and technologies as also research, development and application of technology and information.