China is set to give environmental clearance to a 1.39 billion yuan ($226.28 million) investment to build a large crude oil terminal in eastern Shandong province, a circular from the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.
A clearance by the environmental watchdog is a key step to winning final government approval.
The terminal, to be built by Qingdao Port (Group) Co. Ltd, consists of a berth to anchor 300,000-tonnage crude oil tankers and a 100,000-tonnage berth for refined fuel, MEP said late on Tuesday on its website www.mep.gov.cn.
The facilities will be located in Dongjiakou port in the city of Qingdao. The crude terminal will primarily serve Sinopec Corp's subsidiary refiner Luoyang Petrochemical Corp, which in 2012 expanded its crude run capacity to 200,000 barrels per day.
The Luoyang plant, in landlocked central Henan province, had plans to receive foreign crude via a pipeline that links with an east coast port, a plant executive had said in early 2012.
The 100,000-tonnage refined fuel berth would serve independent, or so called "teapot" refineries in Shandong province, said the MEP circular.
Shandong is the home of scores of such small plants that have long served as China's swing fuel suppliers outside the state oil majors but often lack logistics facilities.
MEP will also give the green light to a privately-invested 4.039 billion yuan ($984 million) petrochemical plant that makes purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a key intermediate to make polyester, in southern Hainan province.
The 2.1-million-tonnes-per-year PTA plant will source paraxylene, a main feedstock, from the nearby Sinopec Hainan refinery, MEP said. ($1 = 6.1428 Chinese yuan)
--Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman (C) Reuters 2013.