By WAYNE MA
BEIJING -- Sinochem Group, China's fourth-largest oil and
gas company by assets, has delayed the start of its
$4.8-billion refinery on the southeast coast of China, a person
familiar with the matter said Friday.
Sinochem has pushed back trial operations at its refinery
from June due to construction delays, the person
The new refinery, based in the port city of
Quanzhou, has the capacity to process 12 million metric tons,
or 240,000 bpd, of crude oil each year, and it will mainly
produce high-quality gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel.
Sinochem said Wednesday in a statement that it purchased its
first crude cargo for the refinery, which would ship in late
September and arrive only in early November. The crude was
purchased from Angola, it said, which primarily sells sweet
In 2008, Sinochem signed a preliminary agreement to purchase
sour crude from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for the proposed
refinery. Sour crude is typically cheaper than sweet crude
because it contains more impurities. However, this makes sour
crude more difficult and costly to refine.
The Quanzhou refinery will only process sweet crude during
trial operations as a way to minimize damage to the refinery, the person added.
Sinochem is the largest chemicals company in China by
production, but ranks a distant fourth in the oil and gas
Dow Jones Newswires