China's Rongsheng sees energy, chemical demand back to normal in H2

BEIJING (Reuters) - Rongsheng Petrochemical , the listed arm of a major shareholder in one of China's biggest private oil refineries, expects demand for energy and chemical products to return to normal in the country in the second half of this year.

The Zhejiang-based Chinese private refiner saw profit more than triple in the first half of 2020, bolstered by the launch of its 400,000 barrel-per-day Zhejiang Petrochemical Co (ZPC), according to a stock exchange filing earlier this week.

ZPC is designed to mainly process crude oil from Saudi Arabia.

Rongsheng expects to start trial operations of the second phase of the refining project, adding another 400,000 bpd of refining capacity and 1.4 million tonnes of ethylene production capacity in the fourth quarter of 2020.

"We expect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on energy and chemicals to have basically faded in spite of the possibility of new waves of outbreak," said Quan Weiying, board secretary of Rongsheng, in response to Reuters questions in an online briefing.

"With demand recovery from downstream sectors, production and sales of chemical products in China are expected to return to normal."

Rongsheng also told investors its oil refining operation rates were currently around 120% and ethylene run rates around 100%.

Last month, China granted ZPC a licence to export refined oil products, making it the first private oil refiner to obtain such permission.

But Li Shuirong, president of Rongsheng, told the briefing that it was still in the process of applying for an export quota and would adjust production based on market demand. (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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