The State Council may approve a plan as early as next month to turn 26,000 square kilometres of land covering six cities in Shandong province into a 'Yellow River Delta economic development region', according to officials of Dongying city, which is located at the heart of the region. The area's development will focus on the production of oil and petrochemicals, as well as drilling machines, wind and biomass energy generation and related equipment manufacturing, car parts, eco-tourism and agriculture. In addition to Dongying, the area includes the major Shandong cities of Zibo and Weifang. Dongying's Communist Party secretary Zhang Qiubo said the plan had been submitted by the National Development and Reform Commission to the State Council. 'The central government's plan to set up the Yellow River Economic Delta is a historical opportunity for Dongying's development,' he said. The government already has blueprints to develop regional metropolises in the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and the new Binhai district in Tianjin. Sun Jiankun, the deputy chief of the Dongying Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation Bureau, said the plan might get the State Council's blessing next month, although he was unable to say what incentives would be provided to potential investors. Located near the mouth of the Yellow River, Dongying is home to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp's (Sinopec's) Shengli oilfield, the country's second-largest, and more than 100 makers of drilling equipment. Dongying also has the mainland's largest oil refining capacity for a city, with annual processing capacity of 20 million tonnes from eight small refineries. The city wants to co-operate with Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corp to restructure its fragmented refining industry by replacing old facilities with new and large-scale plants. It wants to raise its refining capacity to 30 million tonnes and build the capacity to produce one million tonnes a year of the key intermediate chemical ethylene by 2015. Dongying also aims to build 1,000 megawatts of wind farms by 2020, up from 200MW at the end of this year. Solar and biomass power projects are also on its development agenda. The city signed 21 agreements yesterday in Hong Kong with investors in a wide range of projects, involving a total investment of US$1.17 billion. Dongying is selling 109 project ideas worth US$8.5 billion to investors to help drive its development.