NPRA '02: ExxonMobil hopeful of govt OK for China cracker

26 March 2002 15:09  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--ExxonMobil is hopeful of receiving approval from the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) for its joint venture 600 000 tonne/year cracker project at Quanzhou, Fujian, China, by the end of this year, said Rich Pisarczyk, the company’s global head of basic chemicals.

If approval is granted, the partners would then apply for a business licence from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation in order to start construction.

The feasibility study for the project was submitted to the SDPC in November last year by ExxonMobil and their joint venture partners, Saudi Aramco and Fujian Petrochemical.

Pisarczyk added that the targeted start-up date for the cracker project, which will be integrated with an expanded refinery, is 2006-07.

He pointed to this integration as a strong competitive advantage which overrides the fact that the Fujian project would start up after the China cracker projects involving BP Chemicals and BASF.

The project in which BP has a stake, located at Caojing, Shanghai, is due to come on-stream in fourth quarter 2004 with full commercial production targeted for first quarter 2005. BASF has targeted 2005 as the start-up for its join venture project, which is at Nanjing, Jiangsu.

The Fujian cracker would be self sufficient in feedstock whereas the Caojing project will have to source some of its naphtha externally.

Pisarczyk said that the US major does not have any other Asian cracker intentions if the SPDC were to decline approval.

"Our focus is on realising the China project," he said.

Pisarczyk was speaking on the sidelines of the 27th International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) here. Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC concludes Tuesday.

By: John Richardson
+65 6780 4359

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