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Investors eye coal-to-oil conversion
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Against the backdrop of soaring international oil prices, the Ningdong Energy & Chemical Industrial Base in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is attracting more and more interest from foreign investors with its ambition to develop the coal-to-oil conversion project.

China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd and South African Sasol Ltd are scrutinizing the feasibility of building a large coal-to-oil conversion plant in the industrial base, announced Pat Davies, chief executive officer of Sasol, early this month.

The plant will not only increase the supply of clean fuels, but also create more than 15,000 jobs and bring several billion yuan in profits to eastern Ningxia, according to sources from China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd.

Davies said the study is scheduled to be completed next year and the project is expected to begin operating in 2016.

Harboring several key projects of industrial conglomerates, including China Huaneng Corp and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co Ltd (SNCI), the mega-scale industrial center is expected to become Asia's largest energy and chemical industrial base by 2020 when it completes its second-phase infrastructure, said Zhang Wenjiang, board chairman of SNCI.

Sasol is the only commercial producer of coal-to-oil conversion technology in the world and has long showed interest in China, the world's third-largest coal reserves owner.

(Chinadaily.com.cn July 22, 2008)
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