Refinery Projects suspended for Chinese Oil giants

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 31 Aug 2013 19:34
Tags: asia china petrochina refinery sinopec top

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China's environment ministry has suspended approvals of new refining projects by the country's two biggest oil firms for failing to achieve pollution reduction goals.

China's environmental watchdog has suspended environmental approval for refining and chemical projects

by the country's two oil and gas giants due to their weak environmental protection performance.

The ministry has temporarily halted approval of new refining projects and renovation or expansion of existing facilities for China National Petroleum Corp and Sinopec Group.
CNPC failed to meet a target to reduce chemical oxygen demand, a measure of water pollution, last year, while Sinopec failed to meet a target to cut nitrogen oxide emissions, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

It cited tests conducted jointly with the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Development and Reform Commission.

As a result, both oil firms can no longer seek environmental impact reviews from the ministry — essential for new projects, apart from fuel product upgrades or emissions reduction.

The environment ministry said it will assess the firms' measures to improve emission controls before the suspensions can be lifted.

Refining capacity already under construction won't be affected.

Sinopec is Asia's largest refiner and parent of Sinopec Corp. CNPC is China's largest oil and gas producer and parent of PetroChina Co.

The People's Daily said the firms should not blame funding or technology problems for their failed environment tests because both had managed to meet tough environmental standards at their overseas projects.

A Sinopec spokesman said it failed mainly because of slow upgrade work at several petrochemical plants including one in Shanghai.

He said the company usually conducted upgrades at refineries during maintenance periods, which usually take place every three to four years, so some of its projects hadn't been upgraded during the past year or two.

He said Sinopec would increase spending to accelerate upgrading at its refineries to meet government targets as soon as possible.

Six other state-owned companies, including China Huaneng Group, a power producer, and Shenhua Group Corp, a coal producer, were also selected for the government tests and all met emission targets.

Sinopec had previously pledged to invest 22.9 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) on a total of 803 environmental protection projects over the next three years.

China has been trying to tackle air pollution, which has become a key source of social discontent, especially after toxic smog blanketed northern cities earlier this year.

Earlier this month, China's top economic planner called for greater efforts in energy-saving and emission reduction, adding that assessments of government officials would be partly based on their achievements in the area.

The environment ministry said it would punish officials in Beijing and Tianjin, and the neighboring province of Hebei, for heavy air pollution if they were found to have neglected their duties, Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

Projects suspended for oil giants 0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, August 29, 2013 Adjust font size: China's environment ministry has suspended approvals of new refining projects by the country's two biggest oil firms for failing to achieve pollution reduction goals.

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