25 January 2013 09:13 [Source: ICIS news]
3SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Tenglong Aromatics has been told to halt the construction on its 800,000 tonnes/year paraxylene (PX) unit and feedstock-changing project in Zhangzhou because of a procedure violation, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said late on Thursday.
MEP said in a notice released on 24 January that the producer had commenced construction on the PX project without permission and as a result, it will have to pay a penalty of yuan (CNY) 200,000 ($32,154) for the violation.
According to a source responsible for environmental assessment at Fujian Academy of Environmental Science, Tenglong Aromatics has nearly completed the construction and was ready to start up the units.
However, the producer was unable to do so, as it was informed by MEP’s notice to shut the PX project down with immediate effect, the same source told ICIS.
The MEP notice was dated 21 January and the resumption of construction is contingent on whether Tenglong Aromatics could obtain a permit from the ministry.
Tenglong Aromatics had originally planned to conduct trial runs for the PX project in July last year. However, the entire project remained under construction, despite receiving approval from MEP in 2009, as the producer decided to change its upstream feedstock supply unit. In China, changes in a project will require a new permit from MEP before construction can begin.
Tenglong Aromatics could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts to contact the company.
The PX project can produce 800,000 tonnes/year of PX, 160,000 tonnes/year of orthoxylene (OX) and 228,000 tonnes/year of benzene.
The PX project was initially scheduled to be built in Xiamen, but was forced to relocate to Zhangzhou because of health hazards and pollution concerns, an industry source said.
The producer is a subsidiary of Xianglu Tenglong Group, a major producer of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in Fujian province.
($1 = CNY6.22)
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