Shell plans US$5.9b refinery in Guangdong
MULTINATIONAL petrochemicals giant Shell has revealed plans to build a US$5.9 billion oil refinery in Huizhou, Guangdong, in what would be the largest single foreign investment project in China to date.
Margaret Jack, a director of government co-ordination at Shell companies in China and Hong Kong, announced the project, which is still being negotiated, at an Australian Chamber of Commerce meeting yesterday.
Shell plans to build an oil refinery with a capacity of eight million tonnes.
Negotiations with the mainland authorities have reached a delicate stage.
In an unusual move, the media were asked to leave the talk because of fears that some of Mrs Jack's candid comments about the Chinese leadership and the future of economic reforms on the mainland would, if reported, adversely affect the negotiations.
Later, Mrs Jack said that feasibility studies, which had been under way for two years, had finally been submitted to the State Planning Commission.
''The leadership's been very supportive of our project, so we hope to have a favourable response within the year,'' said Mrs Jack.
She said Shell would own 50 per cent of the joint venture, which would have four mainland partners.
The project is expected to employ nearly 2,000 people, more than 95 per cent of them local.