InterviewChina petchem industry in for robust development - Wison

23 December 2009 04:33  [Source: ICIS news]

By Judith Wang

SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--China’s burgeoning domestic consumption will continue to drive the strong development of its petrochemical industry in the next five to 10 years, said an official at an engineering firm on Wednesday.

The country, which is the world’s third biggest economy, depends on imports for roughly half of its requirement for petrochemical products like ethylene and propylene, and would need to speed up on its plan to become self-sufficient, said Zhou Hongliang, deputy general manager at Wison Engineering Ltd, in an interview.

“We need build our own petrochemical plants as we could not rely on the imports for a long time,” Zhou said in Mandarin.

Wison is a Shanghai-based company that provides engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, as well as commissioning services for refinery, petrochemical and other industrial projects.

China’s demand almost single-handedly buoyed up petrochemical prices in Asia at the start of the year, when the rest of the world was reeling from an economic slump.

The feat of satiating the country’s strong appetite for petrochemicals would require major investments from petrochemical giants such as PetroChina and Sinopec to the tune of billions of yuan, said Zhou.

Wison has intentions to tender for a number of petrochemical projects in China, including the building of BASF’s Chongqing crude methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) projects and the construction of a 1m tonne/year cracker of state-owned oil major China National Offshore Corp (CNOOC) in Huizhou, Guangdong province, said Zhou.

The company was also hoping to secure contracts for overseas projects through its offices in Saudi Arabia and Singapore as it was upbeat on the future of the global petrochemical industry, said Zhou.

Early this year, Wison bagged a contract worth more than yuan (CNY) 7bn ($1.02bn) from PetroChina subsidiary Sichuan Petrochemical to build six process plants and two utilities in Chengdu – the capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China.

The company would help build a 650,000 tonne/year paraxylene (PX) plant, a 2m tonne/year continuous catalystic reforming unit, a 300,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit, a 2.7m tonne/year hydrogenation cracking unit, a 100,000 tonne/year sulfur recovery unit at the site, Zhou said.

Wison would also do part of the work in building Sichuan Petrochemical’s 800,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker at the area, he added.

“These units will complete constructions by the end of 2011 and will come on stream in 2012,” Zhou said.

($1 = CNY6.83)

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By: Judith Wang
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