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China to Unveil Petrochemistry Development Plan

China is likely to release a national plan for the development of the petrochemical industry as early as this month, Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.

The plan will come after the State Council pledged safe and green development of the petrochemical industry at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Citing anonymous sources, the Xinhua-run newspaper said the plan will lay down rules mainly for oil refining and production of ethylene and aromatic hydrocarbon.

The petrochemical industry is one of the pillars of China's economy and affects people's daily lives. But there is a shortfall in domestic supply and China relies on imports for a large portion of the high-end petrochemical products it needs.

At the same time, the domestic industry is under high pressure amid rising public awareness of environmental protection.A number of petrochemical projects, most typically para-xylene plants, have encountered violent rejections over pollution concerns in Chinese cities in recent years.

To address public concerns, Wednesday's executive meeting stressed that petrochemical projects must be safe and environmentally friendly.

In addition to petrochemistry, Shanghai Securities News reported that the upcoming plan will also support the development of coal chemistry in west China.

Sources said that modern coal-based chemical production including coal-to-olefins and coal-to-aromatic hydrocarbon will be supported as the cost of coal chemistry is lower than that of petrochemistry.

(shanghaidaily.comChina Daily Edited by Topco)