May 26, 2020 / 4:46 AM / 2 months ago

Chinese provincial official urges shut down of CNPC's Dalian refinery

FILE PHOTO: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)'s Dalian Petrochemical Corp refinery is seen near the downtown of Dalian in Liaoning province, China July 17, 2018. Picture taken July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A vice governor in China’s northeastern Liaoning province appealed to the central government to shut down Dalian Petrochemical Corp, at the annual national parliament conference (NPC), according to an NPC report issued on Monday.

A subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the 410,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) plant is CNPC’s biggest refinery and one of the oldest in the country. It is also China’s largest processor of Russia’s East Siberia Pacific Ocean blend crude transferred via pipeline.

The refinery has had several severe accidents in the past decade, including an oil spill in 2010, an explosion in 2013 and a fire in 2017, stoking safety and pollution concerns as it is located less than 10 kilometres from the port city of Dalian.

“I sincerely appealed (to) the industrial ministry and state-owned assets supervision and administration commission to coordinate with CNPC to shut down Dalian refinery as soon as possible,” said Chen Xiangqun, a vice governor at Liaoning, according to the NPC report.

Beijing had vowed in 2017, soon after the fire at Dalian refinery, to relocate all small- and medium-sized chemical plants to planned chemical parks and out of urban areas by 2020, and move the larger plants by 2025.

According to the petrochemical industry layout, CNPC’s Dalian refinery was due to move to Changxing island, where the 400,000 bpd Hengli Petrochemical (600346.SS) is located.

But there has been no update on its relocation since the layout was jointly issued by the state planner and industrial ministry in 2018.

Chen also appealed during the NPC to allow Dalian city government to choose a new owner for the idled land preserved for Dalian refinery in Changxing island, and to push forward the construction of a new refinery by using the refining capacity of the plants no longer in use.

CNPC did not response to Reuters’ request for comment on Chen’s suggestion.

Reporting by Muyu Xu in Beijing and Chen Aizhu in Singapore; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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