The officials in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo have halted the planned expansion of paraxylene (PX) production plant, owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group, after protests over the weekend.
The government of Zhenhai district, where the plant is located, said the US$ 8.9 billion petrochemical facility expansion by the state-controlled Sinopec Group has been suspended until further review.
Moreover, a portion of the expansion plan that was designed to manufacture PX would be scrapped as local citizens apprehend that it may damage the environment and create health problems.
Over the weekend, Ningbo residents protested the expansion of PX facility as high level of exposure to PX can cause health problems, including respiratory discomfort and irritation of eyes.
The Ningbo facility already has capacity to produce about 23 million tons of crude per year and the expansion was designed to produce another 15 million tons of refined oil and 1.2 million tons of ethylene.