BEIJING - Dalian Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is to become China's largest oil refining base within this year, according to company sources.
Seven advanced sets of oil refining equipment of Dalian Petrochemical would be finished and put into use by the end of this year, five of which are designed to be the largest in the country, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Saturday.
After the installation of the facilities, the company would become the biggest oil refining base nationwide, with an annual processing capacity of 20.5 million tons.
The refining project has involved an overall investment of 10.7 billion yuan (1.5 billion US dollars), and the equipment technologies are introduced from the world's leading oil companies including Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
"This will help ease the oil shortage in some parts of the country, but cannot solve the problem from the root," Wang Zhen, a professor with China University of Petroleum, was quoted as saying.
"Unreasonable pricing mechanism of refined oil should be blamed for the diesel and gasoline shortages," Wang added.
China's crude oil price has already integrated with the international level, but its refined oil price are under the control of the central government.
Oil shortage has plagued some southern regions amid surging oil prices on international markets, including Guangdong, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shanghai and Chongqing.
CNPC and Sinopec, the country's top two oil producers and refiners, said earlier they would redouble efforts to increase market supply and distribute more oil to the shortage-plagued regions.