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PetroChina to begin Daqing ethylene expansion project
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Daqing Petroleum & Chemical Co, a unit of PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, is ready to begin building a 600,000-ton ethylene device at the end of this month in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province, parent company China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said.


It is part of Daqing Petroleum's ethylene production expansion project, which, upon completion, will double its annual production capacity to 1.2 million tons.


The move will help Daqing Petrochemical become China's largest ethylene production base, a company statement said, without saying when the project is due for completion.


PetroChina, listed in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai, said earlier in its prospectus for initial public offerings of Renminbi-denominated A-shares that it would use approximately 6 billion yuan (810.8 million U.S. dollars) out of the money raised through the IPO for the Daqing ethylene project.


"Construction of a large ethylene project will translate into more evident progress in PetroChina's downstream business," said Professor Dong Xiucheng with the Beijing-based China University of Petroleum.


China's ethylene production capacity has long remained limited. PetroChina's project will have a noticeable effect on the whole chemical industry in the country, Dong added.


Ethylene is the raw material for various synthetic products, including synthetic rubber, synthetic resin and synthetic fiber.


Last month PetroChina raised 66.8 billion yuan (8.9 billion U.S. dollars) through its IPO, recording one of the most spectacular trading debuts ever, as it surged more than 160 percent to temporarily become the world's largest company by market capitalization.


(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2007)

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