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Bloomberg: Shanghai Secco May Boost Ethylene Capacity by 28% (Update2)

By Trisha Huang

March 8 (Bloomberg) — Shanghai Secco Petrochemical Co., half owned by BP Plc, may expand its capacity to produce ethylene 28 percent by 2009, a company spokeswoman said.

Shanghai Secco may boost its ethylene capacity to as much as 1.15 million tons a year from 900,000 metric tons today, said Angela Qian, the company’s public relations supervisor by e-mail. The project is under consideration by the company’s board of directors, she said.

The plant, known as a cracker, processes naphtha into ethylene, the basic building block of plastic packaging and synthetic fibers. The cracker, one of the biggest ethylene plants in China, is 50 percent owned by BP Chemicals East China Investment Co. The remainder is held China Petroleum & Chemical and its unit Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co.

The proposed expansion follows plans by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. to boost existing facilities and build new plants. Breakneck industrial growth in China, where gross domestic product increased 10.7 percent last year, has spurred use of plastics to make cars, electronic goods, and building materials.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will start a new 800,000 metric ton a year cracker in Singapore by 2010. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s biggest investor-owned oil company, is also undertaking feasibility study for a second cracker in Singapore.

China, already Asia’s biggest ethylene producer, wants to more than double its capacity to 18.13 million tons by 2010.

The $2.7 billion plant, in Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, started commercial operation in June 2005, China Petroleum & Chemical, or Sinopec, says on its Web site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Trisha Huang in Singapore at [email protected] .

Last Updated: March 8, 2007 01:44 EST

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