Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 12 News List

China chooses petrochemical stimulus


China approved a stimulus plan for the petrochemical industry to help spur the slowing economy.

The government will seek to boost domestic demand, increase stockpiles of oil products, improve tax policy and expand loans for petrochemical companies, the State Council, or Cabinet, said in a statement on its Web site yesterday.

China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in seven years last quarter, cutting demand for fuels and petrochemicals. The stimulus plan will add to the 4 trillion yuan (US$585 billion) of spending the government announced in November to support the economy.

China will try to improve pricing of energy products, expand diesel-supply networks in rural areas and accelerate construction of key refineries and ethylene plants, the statement said. It will control the development of coal-to-liquids projects, the Cabinet said, without giving details.

The government will build six energy projects this year under the 4 trillion yuan spending plan, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Nov. 12. The projects include 10 nuclear power reactors with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts each.

China also approved a stimulus package for its food, paper, home appliance and other so-called light industries, the State Council said in a separate statement.

The plan, aimed to upgrade the industry, will also help boost domestic consumption and create more jobs, the statement said.

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