China, the world’s top energy consumer, plans to have a total refining capacity of 790 million tonnes a year, or 15.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020.
That represents a rise of 32 percent from around 600 million tonnes a year (12 million bpd) the government has planned for 2015.
Refining capacity will rise further to 850 million tonnes, or 17 million bpd by 2025. According to a new development plan and layout for China’s petrochemical industry, which was approved by the cabinet earlier this month, China’s ethylene production capacity will reach 33.5 million tonnes in 2020 and 50 million tonnes in 2025, it said.
That represents a rise of 24 percent and 85 percent respectively from 27 million tonnes the government has planned for 2015.
Production capacity of aromatics will reach 30.65 million tonnes in 2020 and 40 million tonnes in 2025, it said without giving comparative figures.
Chinese oil majors such as Sinopec and PetroChina have been expanding their refining capacity rapidly over the past two decades to chase the robust demand growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
However, they are pacing down expansion recently in the face of tighter environmental scrutiny and slowing demand growth.
Sinopec is scaling back billions of dollars in petrochemical investments on revived US competition in the sector and as local opposition grows to oil and gas plants due to environmental concerns.