China will allow the local resource-starved refineries to import crude oil, the country's top economic planner announced on Monday.
Qualified local refineries will only be allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a statement by the National Reform and Development Commission. The new rule applies to local refineries already in production that have facilities with refining capacity of over two million tonnes and meet ecological, quality and energy-saving requirements, according to the statement.
China only allowed government-approved refineries to use imported crude oil in the past, however, the emergence of unregistered refineries has led to upgrades in the refinery sector.
The statement added that no new refineries or capacity expansion was allowed without government permission and called for equal treatment of state-owned and private refineries.