A controversial petrochemical project in Guangzhou's Nansha district would be relocated to either Zhangjiang or Maoming after failing to pass the environmental impact assessment, a magazine reported. Guangdong and the project's proponent - Kuwait Petroleum Corporation - and mainland oil refiner Sinopec Corp agreed that the massive plant would be completed in 2013 despite having to find a new location, Caijing magazine reported. The magazine quoted sources saying that Sinopec had made an internal announcement on the relocation, and that Zhangjiang or Maoming would be the likely new site. Moving the giant plant out from Nansha would spare cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, the prospect of worsening air pollution. The South China Morning Post reported in March that the Nansha plant would not go ahead and could be moved to Zhangjiang, a port city in the far west of Guangdong. This was largely because of strong opposition from Hong Kong on the potential environmental hazard and because provincial Communist Party chief Wang Yang had a different line of thinking on development. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation first proposed the project in 2005, and Nansha district, 68km south of the centre of Guangzhou, was selected as the site. The plant is expected to be able to process up to 15 million tonnes of oil a year and produce 800,000 tonnes of ethylene, a chemical used in making plastics. But the location has made it hugely unpopular with Guangzhou people as well as those in neighbouring cities. It is 18km from Shenzhen, 31km from Zhuhai and 37km from the nearest point in Hong Kong. Speaking after the Post broke the news, Chen Guangrong, deputy head of the provincial environmental watchdog, said: 'People have grave concerns over it. Passing the environmental impact assessment is a prerequisite. Because it is an important project, whether it passes the assessment will be decided by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.' The ministry had said early last year it had no power to reject the project.