Shanghai Petrochem to expand capacity

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 September, 2004, 12:00am

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical plans to spend up to 10 billion yuan to expand its annual ethylene output capacity by as much as 550,000 tonnes a year to 1.4 million tonnes.

Vice-chairman Rong Guangdao said China's largest maker of ethylene - a building block of chemicals - is awaiting government approval.

He said the firm's expansion of its annual crude-oil refining capacity from 8.8 million tonnes to 14 million tonnes - to be completed by the end of this year - would be able to support an annual ethylene output of 1.4 million tonnes.

The oil products, plastics and synthetic fibre maker expects the average price of crude oil - its main raw material - to be higher in the second half than the first, while petrochemical product prices will also rise.

'It is not probable for our second-half profit to be significantly higher than the first,' Mr Rong said.

The firm plans to cut its staff from 29,000 now to 15,000 in three years. Some 10,000 working in auxiliary services will leave through a privatisation programme, 3,000 through early retirement and the remainder from its core operations.