14 March 2003 04:11 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--PetroChina is considering expanding its Lanzhou, Gansu province, ethylene cracker to 540 000 tonne/year by 2006, a spokesman told CNI on Friday.
The company is currently expanding its 160 000 tonne/year cracker at the site to 240 000 tonne/year, with the additional capacity expected to come on stream around the end of Q2 this year.
The spokesman said the plan to further expand ethylene capacity at the site has not yet been finalised and he could not say when a final decision is expected to be made.
Under the plan now being vetted, the expansion to 540 000 tonne/year would not involve building a new cracker but rather a separate unit integrated within PetroChina's existing cracker, the spokesman said without providing further details.
PetroChina has been eager to expand its ethylene capacity in Lanzhou city as part of a state-approved plan to turn the area into a petrochemicals hub.
However, the plan took a severe blow in May 2001 when Chevron Phillips Chemical announced its withdrawal from a $1.3bn (Euro1.2bn) plan to build an 800 000 tonne/year ethylene cracker at the site with PetroChina.
PetroChina was unable to find other investors for the project and sources close to the company had said that the plan to build a new complex was effectively shelved in 2002.
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