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Sinopec starts mega petchem plant in Tianjin

January 21/2010

January 21 (Reuters) - China"s Sinopec Corp has started up a 1 million tonne-per-year ethylene complex in the northern port city of Tianjin, launching the country"s first major petrochemical plant in 2010, an industry official told Reuters.

"The new plant was started on Jan. 16 and produced within just over 13 hours, on-specification ethylene, said to be a record in China," said the official familiar with the venture.
The $3-billion petrochemical venture, jointly owned by Sinopec and Saudi Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE, expects to enter full commercial operations in four to five months, said the official, a normal duration for a new cracker.

The cracker, however, faces insufficient supply of naphtha, its main feedstock, said the official, meaning the petrochemical complex may have to secure the light refinery product from other refineries, or even from imports.

The petrochemical plant is linked with a newly expanded 200,000 barrel-per-day refinery at the same site which is fully owned by Sinopec Corp.

"There seems to be some problems in the design of the refinery, which is not totally integrated with the petrochemical complex," the official added, without elaboration.

Sinopec starts mega petchem plant in Tianjin

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