Fujian Refinery & Petrochemical Complex, China

Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company (FREP) is building a refinery and petrochemical complex in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China.

The project, which includes the expansion of a refinery from 4mtpa to 12mtpa, involves the construction of an 800,000tpa steam cracker, 800,000tpa of polyethylene (PE), 400,00tpa of polypropylene (PP) and an aromatics complex producing 700,000tpa of paraxylene (PX). Total investment is put at $3.5bn

Support facilities including a 330,000t crude berth and power cogeneration were also built. The complex is expected to become operational in early 2009.

The project is said to be China's first integrated refining and petrochemical project with foreign participation.

In May 2009, trial runs on the new refinery were initiated with the start-up of the 8mtpa crude distillation unit. In November 2009, the refinery commenced commercial operations. The partners of the project are planning to expand the refinery in the next few years as demand for petroleum and petrochemical products is continuously on the rise in China.

Fujian partners

Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company is a joint venture company, which was approved by the Chinese government in the first quarter of 2007. Partners in the venture are Sinopec and Fujian Province, which own 50% between them and Exxon Mobil and Saudi Aramco, each taking a 25% stake.

Fujian advisers

Latham & Watkins was appointed to advise FREP. The debt facilities were arranged on a limited recourse basis and comprise long-term and working capital facilities to a value of $4bn.

Project management

The project management of the Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company's complex was carried out by a joint venture between ABB Lummus Global and Sinopec Engineering. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Ethylene heater and recovery technology

Ethylene heater and recovery technology for the 800,000tpa cracker was supplied by ABB. The cracking furnaces are designed by an alliance between ABB Lummus Global and Sinopec Tech.

Polypropylene technology

Novolen Technology Holdings was awarded the contract to provide the technology, process design package and related services for the 400,000tpa PP plant.

"The facility will be able to make commercially produced propylene polymers."

The facility will be able to make the entire spectrum of commercially produced propylene polymers including grades for fibre applications and biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP).

The facility will also produce high value-added speciality grades such as random copolymers with high ethylene content for transparent packaging and impact copolymers with very high rubber content for the automotive industry.

Digital automation

During the middle of 2007 Emerson Process Management announced that it had been awarded a contract to digitally automate the Fujian Refining petrochemical complex. In addition, Emerson was taken on as the Main Instrument and Controls Contractor on the project and will install its PlantWeb digital plant architecture.

Power and automation

The contract to provide power and automation products for the Fujian refining and ethylene project was awarded to ABB Group. Under the terms of the agreement ABB Transmission and Distribution Automation Equipment will provide power distribution, while ABB Xiamen Low Voltage Equipment will supply low voltage switchgears to the project.

Waste treatment

The Water Technologies division of Siemens Group Industrial Solutions and Services was commissioned to provide equipment for treating ethylene spent caustic and wastewater. The waste treatment system will help Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company meet stringent discharge and reuse regulations.


"The facility will be able to produce the entire spectrum of commercially produced propylene polymers."

The Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company is part of a bigger venture which includes a fuels marketing joint venture in Fujian Province, China.

The agreement between the partners to fund the Front End Loading (FEL) design for the project was originally signed in 2004. The FEL included completing initial engineering and design, selecting contractors, finalising cost estimates and the pre-ordering of long-lead time equipment. The Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company was formed, following Chinese government approval, in February 2007.

Gas supply agreement

During September 2008, technology company The Linde Group announced that it had entered into a joint venture with Sinopec Fujian Petrochemical Company (FPCL) for the long-term supply of industrial gases to customers in the province of Fujian. This collaboration will result in a capital outlay of around €100m.

Fujian Linde-FPCL Gases Company is building two air separation plants in Quanzhou. The plants will produce 40,000 cubic metres of oxygen each hour, which will primarily be used to supply the Fujian Integrated Refining and Ethylene Project (FREP). The plants will also produce the liquefied gases oxygen, nitrogen and argon, as well as raw krypton and xenon for the Fujian market needs.

Linde said that the jv would create the largest industrial gases company in the fast-growing province of Fujian.