UpdateChina’s Zhejiang Hengyi to build Brunei's first aromatics units

10 April 2012 06:05  [Source: ICIS news]

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By Nurluqman Suratman and Rachel Yang

The refinery complex is expected to cost $4.29bn.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Zhejiang Hengyi Group is planning to build an 8m tonne/year refinery complex at Pulau Muara Besar in Brunei Darussalam that will include the country’s first aromatics production facilities, the chemical-fibre maker said on Tuesday.

Under the first phase of the project, the company plans to build a 1.5m tonne/year “light” naphtha facility, a 1.5m tonne/year paraxylene (PX) unit as well as a 500,000 tonne/year benzene plant, the company said in a statement on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The Pulau Muara Besar project is estimated to cost about $4.29bn (€3.26bn), it said.

The production of aromatics at the complex will be the first of its kind in Brunei, according to an aromatics trader, adding that it will “take at least three years for the facilities to be started up”.

The complex will also produce 1.5m tonnes/year of diesel, 400,000 tonnes/year of gasoline and 1m tonnes/year of jet A-fuel, the company said.

In the project’s second phase, the company plans to invest $3.5bn to expand the refinery to produce olefins, according to the statement.

The statement did not reveal when the company will begin building the facilities or when it aims to start commercial production at the site.

The front-end engineering design for the project will be undertaken by Sinopec Engineering, the engineering arm of China’s state-owned refining firm Sinopec, Zhejiang Hengyi said in an earlier statement.

The company said last year that under the firm’s plans for the first phase, the refinery complex would have the capacity to process 135,000 bbl/day of crude and condensate.

“A portion of the crude oil feedstock will be sourced locally and a portion of the gasoline, diesel and jet A-1 fuel produced will be marketed domestically in order to meet the growing demand of local consumption,” the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) said in a statement on its website.

A non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), Brunei Shell Marketing and Zhejiang Hengyi, with respect to the supply of crude oil to the project and its offtake of refinery products, the BEDB said.

“Zhejiang Hengyi’s project… will significantly contribute to the growth of Brunei Darussalam’s energy sector, venturing further into petrochemicals and open doors for new industries,” the BEDB added.

BSP currently runs the only refinery in the country at Seria in Belait district, with a capacity of 10,000 bbl/day, according to its website.

The company supplies 350,000 bbl of oil and gas equivalent daily to countries such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia, according to its website.

With additional reporting by Yu Guo and Mahua Chakravarty

($1 = €0.76)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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