Sinopec Jinling to Delay Start of 160,000-Bpd Crude Unit
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec), China's top oil refiner, will delay the startup of a new 160,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude oil unit at its Jinling refinery until June next year, six months behind an earlier timeline, a company official said.
The Jinling facility will likely be the only main addition to crude refining capacity Sinopec brings online next year, following about 260,000 bpd in new capacity started up over the past few months.
This would potentially cap growth in China's crude oil imports after a modest rise of about 6% in the first 10 months of this year.
"We slowed construction after a series of accidents in China's refining sector," the official said.
Jinling refinery, in the eastern city of Nanjing, has a refining capacity of 270,000 bpd. It had previously planned to start the new crude unit by end of the year.
The upgrading work includes a 1.5 million-ton-per-year residue desulphurizing unit and a 3.5 million tpy fluid catalytic cracking facility, which produces mainly gasoline.
The official said that once the new crude unit was brought online, Jinling would mothball an aging 50,000 bpd crude facility. The resulting net increase in Jinling's crude run capacity would be 110,000 bpd, turning the plant into the country's third-largest refinery.
In August, Sinopec started a 160,000-bpd crude unit in Changling plant in central Hunan province and in late September began test runs at a 100,000-bpd unit in Beihai plant in southern Guangxi province, sources have said.