Petrotahlil - Chinese state-controlled firm Sinopec has started injecting crude into a new storage facility in the central province of Henan, paving the way for it to supply the nearby Luoyang refinery.
The company said it has picked up the pace of crude storage injections to ensure supplies to its northern Chinese refineries. It started pumping Saudi Arab Medium crude into the 5mn bl tank farm in Luoyang early this month. The tank had received over 220,000 bl of crude with sulphur content of up to 2.5pc as of last week.
The Luoyang storage facility is part of Sinopec's major infrastructure investment programme in central China, which includes the expansion of its Luoyang refinery by 40,000 b/d to 200,000 b/d and related upgrades at a cost of 4.5bn yuan ($650mn).
The company added a 200,000 t/yr alkylation unit at the refinery last month. Other new units include a 2.6mn t/yr residue hydrotreater, 1.2mn t/yr reformer and a chemical plant capable of producing 120,000 t/yr of ethylbenzene. Sinopec is upgrading existing secondary units comprising two 1.4mn t/yr fluid catalytic crackers and an 800,000 t/yr jet-kerosine hydrotreater, as well as converting a 2.2mn t/yr vacuum gasoil hydrotreater into a 1.5mn t/yr hydrocracker.
The expansion will improve the refinery's access to cheaper, low-sulphur crude. Sinopec is also connecting the refinery to a 360,000 b/d crude pipeline from Rizhao port in Shandong province as part of the expansion project.
Sinopec is planning to expand Luoyang storage capacity by 5mn bl in a second phase, which is expected to be completed by the mid-2021.
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Source : Argus Media