China's central government has issued preliminary approval for the construction of storage tanks in Hainan province to be used to hold national strategic oil reserves.
The 5 million tonne storage facility will be built in the Yangpu economic zone and should be operational by 2012.
Sinopec Group and Cnooc Group are also building commercial oil reserves in Yangpu. The Hainan government is talking to international companies about building a 10 million tonne a year jpint venture petrochemical complex in Yangpu.
In 2009 the province had applied to the central government to host part of the third phase of the strategic petroleum reserve programme, but had been granted approval.
China is planning to build 26.8 million m3 of storage capacity in the programme's third phase, according to Yin Zhen, vice-director of the planning division of National Development and Reform Commission's Institute of Comprehensive Transportation.
Construction on the second phase began in 2009, also with 26.8 million m3 capacity. China finished filling first-phase tanks to their capacity of 16.4 million m3 during the first half of last year.
Sinopec Group has started preparations to build a 600,000 tonne-capacity Hainan oil reserves project, and Cnooc has started work on its 300,000 tonne-capacity tanks. Both are expected to be complete by 2012.
In early 2009 China's State Development & Investment Corp. and the Netherlands-based independent fuel storage player Vopak agreed to invest CNY7 billion (752 million) in building a commercial petroleum reserve and wharfs to import crude oil and products in Hainan.