China puts ban on new oil refineries till 2000

Dec 22, 1996 01:00 AM

China's State Planning Commission (SPC) has issued a ban on all new oil refineries until the year 2000, to allow demand to catch up with supply. The ban does not apply to foreign-funded projects. China developed too many refineries in the past few years after posting high profits, a high official said, citing the 116 refineries being operated in 1995 by China Petrochemicals Corp. (Sinopec), China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and the People's Liberation Army. At the same time, small, poorly-equipped and highly polluting refineries have mushroomed in rural areas. China is the fourth largest oil refining country in the world, with a capacity to produce more than 206 million tonnes of refined oil a year. However, 148 million tonnes was sufficient for demand in 1996.

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