TonenGeneral Sekiyu, Japan's oil refiner, is planning to develop a mixed xylene recovery unit for the Chiba refinery, which is situated east of Tokyo, Japan.

Reuters cited TonenGeneral Sekiyu official as saying that the 152,000-barrel-per-day refinery is being operated by Kyokuto Petroleum Industries (KPI).

TonenGeneral Sekiyu president Jun Mutoh told the news agency that the JPY5bn ($42m) xylene recovery unit is expected to have a capacity of 200,000 tons per year.

Mutoh said; "This is a project to extract xylene from oil to use it as a feedstock for petrochemical production."

The company officials said that the unit is expected to commence start commercial operations as early as 2017.

Located in the center of the Keiyo coastal industrial area in the Kanto region, the Chiba refinery has the group’s only resid fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) and mild pressure hydro cracker (MPHC).

Petroleum products from the refinery are sold under the Esso, Mobil and General brands to customers.