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China's Hengli Petrochemical cuts refinery operations to 90% as the coronavirus dents demand
Published: 16 February 2020 - 7 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Chinese chemical giant and refiner Hengli Petrochemical has cut to 90% from this week its crude oil processing rate at a northeastern plant, down from 109%, as the coronavirus dents demand, a spokesman told Reuters.The cuts at the 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery and petrochemical complex in Dalian will be equivalent to 17%, or 76,000 bpd, Reuters’ calculations show.Hengli also shut in a 3.2-million-tonne-per-year reforming unit, one of three it operates, because of a mix of technical and market problems.“We’ve been planning to shut down the unit for maintenance to fix some technical issues,” the spokesman told Reuters.“And now it seems the right time, as we are also worried about falling demand for both refined fuel and petrochemicals because of the epidemic.”Owing to weakening demand for petrochemical products, Hengli also cut back operations at a newly started plant making purified terephthalic acid, or PTA, to half its capacity, from 80% earlier, the spokesman said.The facility has an annual capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of PTA, a chemical used to make polyester fibre.