China will build a new strategic petroleum reserve in Wanzhou, a
district in Chongqing Municipality in the southwest, once final
approval is obtained from the central government.
Wanzhou District Government and the Sichuan Bureau of Material
Reserve signed an investment agreement last Friday over launching a
joint venture for building a new oil reserve base in Wanzhou, about
300 km away from Chongqing.
Liu Shuxin, chief of Sichuan Bureau of Material Reserve, said
the preparatory work for the proposed oil reserve base had gone
smoothly, and Wanzhou had been selected for its unique geographic
position and advantages for transport.
"As an important town on the mainstream of the Yangtze, Wanzhou
is accessible by means of waterway, railways, highways and air, so
oil distribution can be guaranteed if emergencies occur," said
In accordance with the construction plan, Wanzhou oil reserve
base will be designed as a facility that will guarantee oil supply
in case of emergencies, so in ordinary time, no big transactions
will be conducted here.
Yuan Changmo, deputy chief of Sichuan Bureau of Material
Reserve, declined to provide more details about the project, saying
the proposed venture will have to get approval from the National
Development and Reform Commission before it can be
Upon completion, Wanzhou oil reserve base will be the first of
the kind in the interior areas of the Chinese mainland and is of
strategic value that can not be neglected for safeguarding internal
oil safety, according to Yuan.
China started a state strategic oil reserve base program in 2004
as a way to offset oil supply risks and reduce the impact of
fluctuating energy prices on the international market on China's
internal market of processed oils.
The state strategic oil reserve base program will be completed
in three phases. For the first phase, the country has built
or been constructing four reserve bases in Zhenhai, Zhoushan,
Dalian and Huangdao, all on its coast.
Situated along the Three Gorges Reservoir, Wanzhou, some 321
upstream Yichang, the nearest city to the Three Gorges Project, the
world's largest water control facility, is one of ten major ports
on the mainstream of the Yangtze River. It has a history of 1,900
years and a population of 1.68 million.
(Xinhua News Agency, November 30, 2007)