China's oil refineries should increase output and improve energy efficiency in a more effective way -- by using thick oil and the hydroprocessing technology, a deputy to the national legislature has said.
"Most domestic oil refineries are using carbonization technology and costly crude oil to produce coke, which is exported at very low prices," said Li Hua, a deputy to the National People's Congress, calling it as if "buying gold to process sand".
China is taking active measures to build up its strategic oil reserves and spending heavily on the industrialization of liquefied fuel to meet the growing domestic demand for refined oil products, he said. "In fact, the most effective way to increase refined oil output is to hydrogenate naphtha residue, or thick oil."
A hydroprocessing line with an annual output of 30 million tons costs about 25 billion yuan (some 3 billion US dollars), according to Li. "This will reduce crude oil import by 15 million tons a year," he said.
If crude oil is imported at 2,000 yuan (240 US dollars) per metric ton, this will cut costs by 30 billion yuan (3.6 billion US dollars) annually, he added.
The new processing technique is eco-friendly as it turns out less pollutants as compared with the traditional carbonization process, according to Li.
On the other hand, this will alleviate the pressure on China's railroad because less coke will have to be shipped by train, he said.
Experts say China's energy structure is subject to drastic changes in the coming 15 years, when the demand from the communication and construction sectors will climb to make up 57 to 75 percent of the country's total newly increased consumption from the current 35 percent.
Chinese experts have worked out hydrogen-fueled batteries with hopes to provide an ideal alternative energy for China's automaking industry, said Prof. Wan Gang, president of the Shanghai-based Tongji University who leads a 880-million-yuan (106-million-US-dollar) development program on the environment-friendly battery.
The hydrogen-fueled battery, named "Chaoyue No. 2", is comparable to similar products developed by Volkswagen, Daimler-Chrysler and Toyota in main technical performances, Prof. Wan told Xinhua in an interview on Sunday.
China's energy demand for the coming 15 years will grow at a relatively low rate if the right strategy and policy measures are taken, according to the Development Research Center of the State Council, the central government.
It says China's demand for primary energy in 2020 will be anywhere from 2.5 to 3.3 billion tons of standard coal, or an average of 2.9 billion tons, 2.2 times the 2000 volume.