04 January 2013 10:02 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The operating rates of major Chinese refineries averaged at 87.6% in early January, down by 0.21 percentage points from two weeks earlier, according to data from C1 Energy, an ICIS service in China.
Sinopec and PetroChina kept operating rates stable at 87-88% at most subsidiary refineries as there were no turnarounds in January.
Maoming Petrochemical brought online a 200,000bbl/day crude distillation unit at the end of December in 2012, which pushed up its overall crude refining capacity to 360,000 bbl/day.
However, its crude throughput increased only slightly as some of new secondary processing capacities have yet to come online. This lowered the company’s operating rates by 15 percentage points.
The average operating rate in early January was compiled from 35 major Chinese refineries that have a combined capacity of 7.37m bbl/day, up from 7.36m bbl/day. The combined capacity accounts for 71% of the total capacity of major refineries, according to C1 Energy.
The relatively high refinery operating rates typically slashes feedstock costs for China's chemical plants, which in turn may choose to increase their own production.
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