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Hainan to Build First Commercial Oil Reserve Base
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A commercial oil reserve base will be built inside the Yangpu economic development zone, in Hainan Province.

The base will be able to store 10 million tons of petroleum, according to Ding Shangqing, director of the Yangpu Economic Development Zone.

Ding was in Bo'ao, a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Hainan, to attend a three-day international seminar on the chemical industry and new materials that will close on Friday.

Project developer China Petrochemical Corporation, commonly known as Sinopec, is negotiating with a number of oil companies from the Middle East over funding for the commercial oil reserve base.

Before launching a joint venture, Sinopec will have to iron out any problems associated with the project and register with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Construction of the commercial oil reserve base is included in the Overall Plan of Yangpu Economic Development Zone approved by the Hainan Provincial Government for the period 2004-2020.

China is in the process of constructing four strategic -- rather than commercial -- oil reserve bases in Zhenhai and Zhoushan in Zhejiang Povince, east China, in Huangdao of Qingdao in Shandong Province, and in Dalian of Liaoning Province, with a combined storage capacity of between 10 and 12 million tons and a total budget of 6 billion yuan (US$750 million) from the state.

The construction of the Zhenhai reserve base was completed last August, and energy officials announced in early October that crude filling had already begun.

Yangpu Economic Development Zone is located inside the 150-sq-km Yangpu Peninsula on the northwestern coast of Hainan and covers an area of 30 sq. km. The zone is about 140 kilometers from Haikou, capital of Hainan.

Founded in 1992, the Yangpu zone was originally planned to be an export-oriented industrial district focused on advanced technology and the development of tertiary industry.

The district is a bonded area and various preferential policies exist for foreign businessmen.

However, the Asian financial crisis had a negative impact on the area and it has never fully recovered.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2007)

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