Industry executives doubt an oil storage, refinery and power generation project for Hong Kong - led by a company of mysterious background - will go ahead. The SAR's high operating costs and limited land resources would make it difficult to justify the construction of a refinery on an internationally competitive scale in a regional market plagued by oversupply, they argued. Last week, Hong Kong Oil and Petrochemical (OPC) unveiled a HK$40 billion to HK$60 billion proposal to build liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and petroleum refilling stations, an oil and gas storage terminal, an oil refinery and power generation facilities. The locally registered company said the proposed facilities would provide an alternative to oil tanks in Tsing Yi Island, and 'value for money' LPG, gasoline and electricity. Lung Kwu Tan, Lamma Island and Kau Yi Chou islands were identified as potential locations. OPC said the project could create 20,000 jobs over six years and would help turn Hong Kong into a Pearl River Delta oil export hub. It also said it had signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with potential partners, including China's No 1 oil producer PetroChina and No 1 oil refiner China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec), to take equity stakes or provide technical expertise. However, spokesmen in Hong Kong for the two Chinese oil and petrochemical giants said the MOUs were likely to have been signed with their third or fourth tier subsidiaries and they did not know the company names. They had doubts about the feasibility of the project. 'My personal view is that the proposed project may not be viable given Asia's over-capacity situation in the refining industry,' one spokesman said. 'Given Hong Kong's expensive land and high environmental requirements, it would be tough.' Another spokesman said it would make more sense for it to be located on the mainland. 'As Hong Kong does not have the necessary talent to build a refinery, would it make sense to import 20,000 people to work on the project?' he added. OPG said it had talked to the deputy secretary of the Economic Development and Labour Bureau about its plan. However, the bureau said it had not received any proposal from OPG. Neither had the Land Bureau, Fire Service Department or the Planning Department, their spokesmen said. An OPG spokeswoman said the company had held back from submitting a proposal because they saw no signal from the government on whether it supported the project. The background of OGP remains a mystery as the spokeswoman declined to name its investors. She would say only that they came from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the mainland. Some of them had oil business experience in East Asia, she said. Matthew Ko, chairman of First International and Environmental Corp which engages locally in used oil refining, said it was unlikely the project would go ahead.