China Shandong refineries/petchems to cut ops before summit for clean air

Source: ICIS News


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Several of China’s Shandong-based refineries will need to cut their operating rates to lessen emissions to ensure cleaner air and blue-sky for an upcoming regional summit in Qingdao on 9-11 June, industry sources said.

The province, one of China’s biggest chemicals bases, had this year set out a target to halve the number of petrochemical parks to 100 and close 20% of its 4,930 chemical plants as part of the government’s efforts to slash environmental pollution levels.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – a political, economic and security organisation comprising China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – will be holding their 18th summit in the coastal city.

Heads of governments of the eight member countries – plus four countries that have observer status and countries that have dialogue partner status – will be leading delegations comprising senior ministers and officials to attend the forthcoming summit.

On such high profile events, local governments usually request factories in polluting sectors like steel and chemical to cut or halt productions.

Temporary restrictions on traffic and logistics are also put in place to ensure security for the event and to improve the air quality.

Refineries and petrochemical plants are required not to turn on or turn off their production lines from 20 May to 20 June which means, if a line is operating it will not be allowed to shut and if a line is shut, it will not be allowed to restart

Shandong Changyi Petrochemical will reduce utilization of its 6.5m tonne/year refinery by one third from the normal 77% from this week till the end of the summit.

Tianhong Chemical and Sinopec Qingdao Petrochemical, each operates a 5m tonne/year refinery, have both been requested to cut running rates for the summit. But detail reduction are not yet fixed.

A source from Sinopec Qingdao Refining & Chemical said that its 10m tonne/year refinery will keep normal operation during the summit time.

Qingdao port will ban oil tankers from loading/unloading at its ducks during 6-11 June. Therefore, most Shandong refineries have increased purchase and storage of crude since last month to avoid production disruption.

On road transportation, during 6-12 June, trucks without Qingdao plates will not be allowed to enter the summit’s host city, local plate trucks will need a special pass for the entrance, Qingdao transportation authority announced.

Besides refineries several petrochemical plants could be shut as a result, including those producing melamine, liquid epoxy resins (LER), propylene oxide (PO) and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).

In recent years China has intensified its anti-pollution campaign, in line with its commitment to reduce the  overall greenhouse gas emissions of the world's second-biggest economy.

Stricter government-led inspections for environmental compliance have resulted in massive shutdowns of small factories.

Additional reporting by Nurluqman Suratman

Focus article by Fanny Zhang