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Xinhua, China: CNOOC-Shell petrochemical project goes into production 2006-03-31 20:30:39
HUIZHOU, Guangdong, March 31 (Xinhua) — China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced on Friday that its huge petrochemical project, a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell, off the South China Sea has begun formal production.
Located in Huizhou city of souch China's Guangdong Province, the project is one of the largest petrochemical projects launched in China in recent years.
CNOOC, Royal Dutch Shell and the Guangdong provincial government invested in the 4.2 billion U.S. dollar project, which is the largest joint venture in China. Royal Dutch Shell owns 50 percent, CNOOC, 45 percent and the Guangdong government, 5 percent.
The project adopted 13 patent technologies through international public bidding, including Shell's world-leading PO/SM technology, said Zhai Hongxing, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company Limited.
According to Zhai, as the largest PO/SM facility in the world, it could produce 550,000 tons of styrene monomer and 250,000 tons of propylene oxide each year.
It will feed the hunger for petrochemical products such as styrene monomer and proplene oxide of China's market, he said.
The core of the project is a set of ethylene cracking facilities.
With an annual production capability of 800,000 tons of ethylene and 430,000 tons of propylene, the facilities could refine not only naphtha, but heavier condensate oil as well as hydrogenation unconverted oil and depression diesel, both by products of petroleum refineries, said Simon Lam, CEO of CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company Limited.
The diversity of raw materials has greatly improved the competitiveness of the project, said Lam.
According to Zhai, after being put into production, the joint venture could produce more than 2.3 million tons of petro chemicals each year mainly for the South and Southeast China markets, the most prosperous regions in the country.
Having focused on oil and natural gas exploration and production offshore, CNOOC has been trying to expand its business in oil industry over recent years and plans to establish an integrated energy company which boasts not only an upper stream business including exploration and production, but also middle and downstream businesses such as oil refining and petrochemicals by 2008.
The launching of the production of the CNOOC-Shell joint venture is another significant step for CNOOC to achieve this goal, said Zhai.
CNOOC announced the establishment of its refining subsidiary last Nov. and laid the cornerstone for its wholly invested oil refining project of an annual oil refining capacity of 12 million tons in Huizhou city, near the CNOOC-Shell project.
The project will also be a great force in enhancing the innovation ability and development level of China's petrochemical industry, said Zhai.
China's rapid economic growth has lead to a huge demand for petrochemical materials. As a result, a series of large-scale ethylene projects was launched in recent years.
Zhai said the production capability of ethylene is an important barometer of the growth of a country's petrochemical industry. But he said the development of China's ethylene industry should be keep in pace with the growth of domestic demand. Enditem
Editor: Ling Zhu

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