Oil gi­ants fail en­vi­ron­men­tal tests

Govt delays ap­proval of CNPC, Sinopec new projects till ’13 emis­sions eval­u­a­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By WU WEN­CONG in Bei­jing SHI JING in Shang­hai

The coun­try’s two ma­jor oil providers — China National Pe­tro­leum Corp and China Pe­tro­leum and Chem­i­cal Corp — have been pun­ished by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Min­istry for fail­ing their 2012 en­vi­ron­men­tal tests.

The eval­u­a­tion, re­leased on Thurs­day, was based on four in­di­ca­tors: chem­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand, which shows the con­cen­tra­tion of or­ganic mat­ter in the wa­ter; am­mo­nia ni­tro­gen, a ma­jor cause of ex­ces­sive nu­tri­ents in wa­ter; and the air­borne pol­lu­tants sul­fur diox­ide and ni­tro­gen ox­ide.

The in­di­ca­tor for chem­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand for China National Pe­tro­leum Corp, or CNPC, Asia’s largest oil and gas pro­ducer, was re­duced 0.08 per­cent in 2012, far be­low the tar­get re­duc­tion of 0.6 per­cent.

Edi­to­rial,

Ni­tro­gen ox­ide emis­sions by China Pe­tro­leum and Chem­i­cal Corp, or Sinopec, in 2012 were orig­i­nally set at zero growth, but the com­pany in­creased emis­sions by 1.28 per­cent.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments of 31 prov­inces, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and au­ton­o­mous re­gions, and eight Sta­te­owned com­pa­nies were sub­ject to the eval­u­a­tion.

The two petro­chem­i­cal gi­ants were the only two that failed, the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year they failed to reach the bar.

The eval­u­a­tion found that China suc­ceeded in bring­ing down over­all emis­sions’ chem­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand in 2012 by 3.05 per­cent, am­mo­nia ni­tro­gen by 2.62 per­cent, sul­fur diox­ide by 4.52 per­cent and ni­tro­gen ox­ide by 2.77 per­cent.

Though a de­tailed as­sess­ment method was not used in 2011, of­fi­cials from the min­istry warned CNPC and Sinopec to take more ef­fec­tive ac­tion to curb emis­sions.

This year, the min­istry with­held ap­proval of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment re­ports for all new mod­i­fi­ca­tion and ex­pan­sion projects by the two com­pa­nies, ex­cept for those up­grad­ing oil qual­ity and en­ergy sav­ing.

“When the ap­proval lim­its will come to an end is still pend­ing,” said Huang Xiaozeng, deputy head the cen­tral govern­ment re­quired CNPC and Sinopec to re­duce their

emis­sions of ni­tro­gen ox­ide by 8 per­cent by the end of 2015 com­pared

with 2005. of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Min­istry’s pol­lu­tion emis­sion con­trol depart­ment.

“The time will be based on the two com­pa­nies’ emis­sion re­duc­tion eval­u­a­tions for the first half of 2013,” said Huang.

He said the pun­ish­ment will not af­fect China’s cur­rent oil pro­vi­sions or re­fin­ing ca­pac­ity of al­most 600 mil­lion met­ric tons per year, not to men­tion projects out­side the re­fin­ing in­dus­try.

The cen­tral govern­ment re­quired CNPC and Sinopec to re­duce their ni­tro­gen ox­ide emis­sions by 8 per­cent, com­pared with 2005 lev­els, by the end of 2015. In­stead, such emis­sions in­creased 8.27 per­cent for CNPC and 2.52 per­cent for Sinopec by the end of 2012, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

Sinopec spokesman Lyu Dapeng said that most of its af­fil­i­ated com­pa­nies have taken ef­fec­tive ac­tion as planned but a few of them, like Sinopec Luoyang Co, Shang­hai Co and An­qing Co, did not per­form well and af­fected the over­all re­sults.

He said it is Sinopec’s so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­duce emis­sions and achieve their tar­gets.

He em­pha­sized it re­cently launched an en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign and will in­vest 22.87 bil­lion yuan ($3.74 bil­lion) in three years on 803 en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment projects.

CNPC said the com­pany has ear­marked 12.7 bil­lion yuan for pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion projects be­fore 2015 and will im­ple­ment tougher eval­u­a­tion mea­sures for af­fil­i­ated com­pa­nies, China National Ra­dio re­ported on Thurs­day.

Poor fa­cil­i­ties

The min­istry says all kinds of de­tailed prob­lems in the two petro­chem­i­cal com­pa­nies were found dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process.

The first is the lack of desul­fu­r­iza­tion and den­i­tri­fi­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties. One-third of CNPC’s 115 coal-burn­ing boil­ers are not equipped with desul­fu­r­iza­tion fa­cil­i­ties and none are equipped with den­i­tri­fi­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The sit­u­a­tion is no bet­ter for Sinopec. About 40 per­cent of its 174 boil­ers don’t have desul­fu­r­iza­tion fa­cil­i­ties, and only four of them have den­i­tri­fi­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

In­ves­ti­ga­tion also found that the two com­pa­nies’ pol­lu­tion treat­ment tech­niques are in­ef­fec­tive.

Of CNPC’s 77 boil­ers with desul­fu­r­iza­tion fa­cil­i­ties, only 11 of them have a desul­fu­r­iza­tion ef­fi­ciency higher than 90 per­cent, the rate for the oth­ers is be­low 70 per­cent.

Prob­lems were also found at many of the two petro­chem­i­cal gi­ants’ sub­sidiary com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing dis­charg­ing ex­ces­sive sewage, af­fect­ing the storm-wa­ter drainage sys­tem with wastew­a­ter, and even pro­vid­ing fake on­linemon­i­tor­ing data.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of their af­fil­i­ated com­pa­nies abroad are lead­ing the world, but their emis­sion re­duc­tion ef­forts within China are far from sat­is­fac­tory, Peo­ple’s Daily com­mented on Thurs­day.

Al­most half of the two oil gi­ants’ re­fin­ing ca­pa­bil­ity is lo­cated around the cities of Bei­jing and Tian­jin, the prov­inces of He­bei and Shan­dong, and the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas, where air­borne pol­lu­tion is most se­vere and com­plex. Yet their af­fil­i­ated com­pa­nies are still im­ple­ment­ing an out­dated at­mo­spheric pol­lu­tant stan­dard is­sued 17 years ago, Peo­ple’s Daily re­ported. Con­tact the writ­ers at wuwen­cong@chi­nadaily.com.cn and shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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