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CNOOC, Shell Jointly Increase Capacity

The plant is currently able to annually produce 80,000 tons...

CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co Ltd, China's biggest Sino-foreign partnership deal, plans to expand its current capacity by 10 to 20 per cent within the next four years, to meet surging domestic demand.

The US$4.3 billion joint project, launched in March between Royal Dutch Shell and China's biggest offshore oil company China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), yesterday disclosed plans to further expand its capacity.

"We are now looking at a 10 per cent to 20 per cent expansion of our existing production facilities within the next four years," Jean-Louis Bilhou, the joint venture's manufacturing director, told reporters yesterday at Daya Bay of South China's Guangdong Province.

The plant is currently able to annually produce 80,000 tons of ethylene and 2.3 million tons of other petrochemicals widely used in plastics production.

Construction has already started on the 19.3-billion-yuan (US$2.4-billion) CNOOC refinery, which is expected to come on stream by 2008.

CNOOC-Shell Petrochemicals is a 50-50 joint investment between Shell and CNOOC, China's third biggest oil company.