Global oil refining capacity to grow over 3 percent

Updated 04 September 2014
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Global oil refining capacity to grow over 3 percent

LONDON: Global oil refining capacity will grow by more than three percent over the next two years, the fastest in 15 years, due mostly to new plants in China and the Middle East, the Bank of America said in a report on Thursday.
Global crude distillation units (CDU), which process crude oil into fuels and chemicals, will increase by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015 and 1.1 million bpd in 2016, the report said.
Global oil refining capacity reached around 95 million bpd in 2013, according to a 2014 benchmark statistical review by oil major BP.
"With the strongest CDU growth since 1999, global refinery capacity will easily outgrow demand growth," BofA said.
The refining expansion is driven mainly by China, which is expected to add 600,000 bpd of refining capacity in 2014, 700,000 bpd in 2015, and 200,000 bpd the following year.
"Chinese CDU expansions amount to almost a million bpd over the next two years, most of which comes on in 2015. This is much more capacity growth than the 400,000 bpd of Chinese demand growth we expect each year," the report said.
In the Middle East, 400,000 bpd of capacity are expected to be added in 2014 and 600,000 bpd in 2015 with the launch of the 400,000 bpd Yanbu refinery in Saudi Arabia and the expansion of the 417,000 bpd Ruwais refinery in Abu Dhabi.
Global refining capacity will also be boosted by the upgrading of Russia's sector in the coming years, BofA said.
Global refining capacity is set to easily outpace demand and pressure refining margins in 2015 as more product is available around the world, heaping pressure on European refiners that have undergone in recent years a painful series of shutdowns.


Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

Updated 48 min 54 sec ago

Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

  • Hit by US sanctions, Huawei's Mate 30 will not be allowed to use Google’s Play Store
  • Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
BERLIN: Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
The company has maintained a veil of secrecy over its plans, set to be dropped at a 1200 GMT press conference revealing the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
“If Europe had its own ecosystem for smart devices, Huawei would use it... that would resolve the problem of European digital dependency” on the United States, Xu told German business daily Handelsblatt.
He added that his company would be prepared to invest in developing such joint European-Chinese projects.