Measures promised to tackle refinery waste

Updated: 2013-05-15 01:59

By Guo Anfei in Kunming and Hu Yongqi in Beijing (China Daily)

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Yunnan provincial officials said on Tuesday that new facilities will be installed to tackle wastewater and exhaust gas at a controversial oil refinery in Kunming, the provincial capital, and promised to keep a close eye on the air quality there.

The China National Petroleum Corp refinery in the city of Anning, which will manufacture 10 million metric tons of oil a year, sparked controversy in local communities due to its potentially negative environmental impact.

The refinery will emit 2,500 tons of poisonous sulfur dioxide and 1,270 tons of nitrogen oxides each year, said Zhou Dongfeng, senior engineer at Yunnan Institute of Environmental Sciences. He also said the factory will discharge 147 cubic meters of wastewater per hour, or 1.29 million tons a year.

Three air monitoring stations are in Anning to oversee sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and PM10, or particulate matter with a diameter less than 10 micrometers, said Lan Jun, deputy head of the Yunnan Environmental Protection Department.

He said the waste must be controlled during the production process with advanced facilities by using clean energy and world-leading recycling technologies to reduce potential pollution, based on the strictest national standards.

"Locals will find an air monitoring report every day on the department's website," Lan said. "And an environmental supervision agency will be invited to monitor the production process when the refinery begins to operate."

Ma Xiaojia, director of Yunnan Provincial Energy Bureau, said the 9.5 million tons of refined oil Yunnan consumed in 2012 was all imported from other regions and the price was higher than other regions due to long-distance transportation.

"Because southwestern China doesn't have petroleum and natural gas resources, the China-Myanmar gas-oil pipeline will ease the situation. The oil pipeline can also ease the contradiction between supply and demand of refined oil with lower transportation costs," Ma said.

Yunnan's oil and gas supplies had depended on what was brought in from Northeast or Northwest China, or from coastal provinces by train, Ma said. Refined oil supplies depend entirely on other provinces.

The project is expected to be completed in 2015 to produce 3.3 million tons of gasoline, 5.9 million tons of diesel, and 1 million tons of aviation kerosene annually.

The refinery is expected to supply 53 percent of oil consumption in Yunnan, which will be 14 million tons in 2015.

"Yunnan currently has a relatively low oil-quality standard, the third phase of automobile emissions, which results in a large amount of exhaust gases," Ma said.

However, the higher standard of the fourth phase will be applied in the production of the CNPC refinery, which will lead to reduced automobile emissions when the oil is used, he said.

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