PetroChina eyes 2H start for ethane-fed crackers

07-May-2021 Intellasia | ArgusMedia | 5:02 AM Print This Post

China’s state-controlled oil firm PetroChina plans to start up its two ethane-fed ethylene crackers in northwest China in the second half of the year. They will be PetroChina’s first crackers to run on ethane when operational.

The company’s Changqing ethane-to-ethylene cracker project, which will produce 800,000 t/yr of ethylene, should be completed by the end of June. It will include a 400,000 t/yr full-density polyethylene unit, a 400,000 t/yr high-density polyethylene unit and other downstream facilities.

Its other project, the Tarim ethane-to-ethylene cracker that will produce 600,000 t/yr of ethylene, will be ready for start-up by the end of September. It will include a 300,000 t/yr full-density polyethylene unit, a 300,000 t/yr high-density polyethylene unit and other downstream facilities.

The two projects, with a combined investment cost of over 20bn yuan ($3.09bn), will require around 1.82mn t/yr of ethane feedstock.

The Changqing project will use field ethane from Shaanxi province and the Tarim project will use feedstock from its Xinjiang fields. China is only starting to build standalone ethane-recovery facilities. Ethane is mainly left in the natural gas stream currently, instead of being stripped out for use in the petrochemical sector.

Lianyungang Petrochemical, a subsidiary of private-sector Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical, started up downstream units last month after successfully bringing on stream a 1.25mn t/yr ethane-based cracker at Lianyungang in east China’s Jiangsu province, which will use imported ethane as feedstock.

PetroChina’s planned refining and chemicals capital expenditure budget of Yn38bn this year, up by 74pc from a year earlier, will include these projects and the under-construction 400,000 b/d Jieyang integrated refinery and petrochemicals project in south China’s Guangdong province that is expected to come on stream in 2022. Jieyang will also include a 1.2mn t/yr naphtha cracker.


Category: China

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