Saudi Aramco is in the process of acquiring petrochemicals giant SABIC (Credit: Zhejiang Petrochemicals)
Saudi Aramco acquired a share in Zhejiang Petrochemical’s new refinery project under a MoU signed in October 2018. Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco.
Honeywell UOP is the technology supplier for the project. Image courtesy of Zhejiang Petrochemicals Co., Ltd.

Zhoushan Green Petrochemical Base project is a new integrated refinery and petrochemical project being developed in Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang province, China. It is the first private capital-controlled petrochemical project in China and is set to become the world’s biggest crude-to-chemicals complex, when operational.

The two-phased project, which is estimated to cost 200 billion yuan ($28.8bn), is expected to start operations in 2021. Each phase is expected to process 20 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of crude oil and produce 1.4Mtpa of ethylene and 5.2Mtpa of aromatics.

Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical (ZPC), a limited partnership company between Rongsheng Petrochemicals, Juhua Group, Zhejiang Tongkun Holding Group, and Zhoushan Marine Comprehensive Development Investment, is developing the project.

Saudi Aramco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ZPC in October 2018 to acquire a share in the project.

Zhoushan petrochemical project location

The Zhoushan petrochemical complex is being developed in one of seven new large industrial sites being developed in Zhoushan Island. The sites are being developed as part of the Chinese government’s national economic development plan.

Zhoushan Green Petrochemical Base project details

The Zhoushan Green Petrochemical Base project will feature a crude oil terminal, separate process units for oil refining and petrochemical production, storage tanks, and transport and service installations.

The 400,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery will be accompanied by two ethylene plants. It will also include an oleflex propane dehydrogenation unit, which is expected to produce 600,000t of polymer-grade propylene.

The complex will also host a 3.5Mtpa diesel hydro-cracking unit comprising two reactors named, 1135-R-0102 and 1135-R-0101, both of which were installed in May 2018. The single cracking furnace is expected to have an annual output of 200,000t of ethylene.

Honeywell’s Experion Distributed Control System will be used to control the refining and petrochemical process units. The control system will provide a faster and easy to use operator interface for process control, safety systems, and automation software under a single architectural platform.

Products and technology details

The integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to produce more than 20 petrochemical products such as gasoline, diesel, jet coal, paraxylene, high-end polyolefin, and polycarbonate. Aromatics for plastic resins, films, and fibers will be produced in the first phase, using Honeywell’s UOP technology.

The second phase of the project is expected to double the plant’s processing capacity to 40Mtpa. It will produce 4.8Mtpa of paraxylene using a two-train LD Parex aromatics complex.

The refinery will utilize three UOP Unicracking process units to convert vacuum gas oil and distillate into petrochemical feedstock. The phase will also include production facilities for aromatics and blend stocks along with normal butane.

Contractors involved

Honeywell UOP is the supplier of the main technology used for processing, upgrading, automation system, and other key equipment of the project.

Yokogawa China, a subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, was awarded the contract for supplying 190 Yokogawa GC8000 gas chromatographs for the first phase of operations.

Eni was awarded the contract for the construction of two refining lines for the project, while Hangzhou Hangyang designed and manufactured the cold box of the air separation plant.

Wison Engineering Services is the supplier of ethylene cracking furnaces, while China Yizhong manufactured the diesel hydro-generator reactors.

Sinopec Heavy Lifting and Transportation Equipment provided hoisting services for the project.

Sinopec Luoyang Engineering designed the decompression tower, which was manufactured by CSSC Shenghui Equipment.

LyondellBasell is providing its Spherizone process technology along with two low-density polyethylene plants for the Zhoushan Green Petrochemical Base project.