Sinopec-Kuwaiti joint venture to cost up to $4 billion

Business Materials 17 August 2008 07:02 (UTC +04:00)

A planned refinery joint venture in southern China between state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) and Sinopec Corp is expected to cost up to $4 billion above initial estimates, state news agency KUNA cited KPC's head as saying. ( GN )

The Kuwait-Chinese refinery and petrochemical project is expected to cost between $8 billion to $9 billion, Sa'ad Al Shuwaib, Chief Executive of KPC told Chinese magazine Finance and Economy, KUNA reported late on Friday.

The project, which had been estimated to have a $5 billion price tag, got the approval of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Al Shuwaib told the magazine.

KPC and Sinopec, Asia's top refiner, received preliminary government approval for the Guangdong plant in 2006, but negotiations for major projects in the sensitive energy sector can sometimes drag on for years.

The refinery will be designed to process 100 per cent Kuwaiti crude supplied by KPC, with a capacity of 15 million tonnes per year, or 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), said KUNA.

KPC has said it aims to become one of China's top five crude suppliers within three years and in 2008 alone will boost imports to 115,000 barrels per day from 88,000 bpd last year. By 2015, KPC expects to supply between 500,000 and 700,000 barrels per day of crude to the Nansha plant and a second one in Quanzhou owned by a smaller firm, Sinochem, an executive from the firm's overseas arm said in June.

Exxon Mobil and Saudi Aramco are also building a $5 billion refinery in Fujian province to help meet China's fast-growing demand for oil.