A private company from China and its Russian partner will refine oil in the Far Estearn Russian region of Amur oblast to ship fuels to Chinese customers across the border (Amurskaya Pravda). In order to do that, they’ll have to build the refinery first. The location is the village of Beryozovka Берёзовка, some 50 km from the regional capital of Blagoveshchensk which itself faces Heihe 黑河, Heilongjiang across the Amur river. The place is expected to be designated as one of the ‘areas of priority development’, a federal government initiative to transform old ‘monotowns’ in the Far East into industrial parks through tax benefits and state investment (these areas are attracting a good deal of interest in China, as I wrote a few days ago). This should be good news for the refinery project, that has existed for a few years but only last April was approved by the National Reform and Development Commission.
The Chinese investor is Menglan Xinghe Energy (梦兰星河能源股份有限公司), a subsidiary of Jiangsu-based Menglan Group, led by chairwoman Qian Yuebao 钱月宝. Menglan started as in the textile industry but has diversified to invest, notably, in the company behind the Loongson (龙芯) microprocessor (said last February to be planning to invest in Intel rival AMD). Menglan have been active in the Russian Far East for a while, notably in Yakutia (to which I’ll return in a future post).