PetroChina now plans to start operating its new refinery in Yunnan province, in China’s southwest, by October. The earlier target date was mid-2016. The 260,000-barrel-per-day plant in Anning, 28 kilometers southwest of Kunming city proper, would be the first major refinery to come onstream in China in nearly two years.
Completion of the refinery has been delayed several times. PetroChina had to resubmit approvals for changes in plant configurations. Local media reported that the company has modified some of the 15 refining units. The modifications included the installation of a 1.2-million-tonne-per-year delayed coking unit, which allows cheaper, heavy crude oil to be processed. The plant was designed to process high sulphur crude oil, which will be shipped in tankers, then pumped through a pipeline that will connect the southwest coast of Myanmar with Yunnan province.
PetroChina’s parent, CNPC, started trial operations of the 2,400-kilometre, 440,000-bpd pipeline that runs parallel to an operating natural gas pipeline early this year, but had to wait for the completion of the refinery before starting up the pipeline commercially.