China's Ministry of Commerce plans to grant crude import licenses to four independent teapot refineries in eastern Shandong province, namely Huifeng Petrochemical, Chambroad Petrochemical, Tianhong Petrochemical and Luqing Petrochemical, the ministry said on its website Monday.
The ministry on Monday opened the licenses to public comment until February 6 and said the approvals would be granted after the notice period if there are no objections from the public.
Huifeng Petrochemical has a crude processing capacity of 5.8 million mt/year (116,000 b/d), while the Chambroad Petrochemical, locally known as Jingbo Petrochemical, has a crude processing capacity of 3.5 million mt/year.
Tianhong Petrochemical has a crude processing capacity of 5 million mt/year and Luqing Petrochemical a 3 million mt/year capacity.
If the import licenses are approved, this would be the fourth group of refineries to have been granted them since last year. On September 21 the ministry granted crude import licenses to the 3.5 million mt/year Lihuayi Petrochemical -- also known as Lijin -- and the 3 million mt/year Kenli Petrochemical in eastern Shandong province .
The 7.5 million mt/year Dongming Petrochemical refinery in Shandong province and the 7 million mt/year Beifang Asphalt Fuel refinery in northeastern Liaoning province were granted crude import licenses August 24.
The 7.5 million mt/year Baota Petrochemical in northwestern Ningxia province and the 3.5 million mt/year Yatong Petrochemical in Shandong province were also granted crude licenses on October 26.
Once a refinery receives both the crude import quota and license, it can directly import crude without going through a third party.
The licenses also allow holders to import crude for other refineries that have quotas to process imported crude.
On December 10, Huifeng Petrochemical was granted a 4.16 million mt/year crude import quota, Tianhong Petrochemical a 4.4 million mt/year quota, Chambroad Petrochemical a 3.31 million mt/year quota, and Luqing Petrochemical a 2.58 million mt/year quota.
The four refineries will have to apply to the ministry for 2016 import volumes, within the cap set by the National Development and Reform Commission, according to the ministry.