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China’s Building Mega Refineries Just as Fuel Demand Stalls

  • More fuel, plastics supply may exceed demand, lifting exports
  • Countries that once sold to China at risk; closures expected
relates to China’s Building Mega Refineries Just as Fuel Demand Stalls

Photographer: Kevin Lee/Bloomberg

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China is investing tens of billions of dollars in new mega-refineries even as its fuel demand is expected to peak within five years, raising the risk it will flood the region with cheap exports.

At least four projects with about 1.4 million barrels a day of crude-processing capacity, more than all refineries in the U.K. combined, are under construction. That’s after the country already added 1 million barrels since the start of 2019. All that capacity will add more petroleum products and plastics just as China National Petroleum Corp. sees fuel demand peaking in 2025 as electric vehicles sap consumption.