The proposed petrochemical plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, which caused public uproar and days of protests before the local authorities announced that it was scrapping the project, is likely to be built anyway according to sources close to the government.
[A] source in Ningbo closely linked to the project told Reuters that once the public furor dies down, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) will likely proceed with the $8.8 billion dollar expansion to the plant in Ningbo’s Zhenhai district, including PX production.
Public worries could force the project owners to downplay or disguise the PX facility by renaming it as something like “affiliated PTA product capacity expansion,” the source said speaking on condition of anonymity. PTA is a downstream product made using PX, and a key component in producing polyester.
The government’s quick capitulation (by Chinese standards) to public protests was seen as a ploy to get people to go home by many of those who had taken to the streets. However, with no domestic media coverage and related pressure, the government can simply wait the protesters out, assuring them the plant is not being built, keeping their fingers crossed the entire time.
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