Chinese company to build refinery in Yakutia

An agreement was signed two weeks ago in Beijing between Russian and Chinese companies to build an oil refinery in Aldansky district (Алданский улус) in the south of the Sakha Republic, a Far Eastern Russian region also known as Yakutia. The plant is planned to be have a refining capacity of 2m tonnes of oil per year, making it the fourth largest in Yakutia, and to cost $2bn.

The Chinese investor, Huaqing Housing Holdings (华清安居控股有限公司), is a developer established by a Tsinghua University architecture researc institute, with the backing of train manufacturer CNR (北车), a central SOE, financial institutions including China Development Bank (CDB) and the China Association for the Promotion of Development Financing (CAPDF, 中国开发性金融促进会, a newish institution whose top people come from CDB, among them its former and current chairmen Chen Yuan 陈元 and Hu Huaibang 胡怀邦). Huaqing is led by Zhu Chunyu 朱春雨. Besides a couple of projects in China, they claim to be about to build some villas in Dubai. The Beijing meeting also included representatives from oil giant CNPC, so presumably they might also become involved in the project.

On the Russian side we have a local company, Tuymaada-Neft (OAO НК Туймаада-нефть), based in Yakutsk and led by Ivan Makarov, who also chairs Sakhatransneftegaz Сахатранснефтегаз, a gas pipeline operator majority-owned by the Yakutia government, and sits as a deputy at the Il Tumen, the local parliament. Also present in Beijing was Valery Tian Валерий Тян, who besides working for Tuymaada is often involved in contacts between Chinese companies and the local government in his capacity as advisor to the president of the Republic.

The plant will refine oil into fuels to be sold locally. Fuel prices in Yakutia are among the highest in the country.

I have written before about the increasing cooperation between the Russian Far East and specifically Yakutia. The latest example semms to be an agreement between the sport bureaus of Yakutia and Heilongjiang province.

CNPC expanding in Niger

Chinese state-owned oil giant CNPC has been awarded a second exploitation license for the Agadem field in Niger, not a month after announcing they plan to invest $200m in road infrastructure linking Niger and Chad (Jeune Afrique, Le Blog Finance), perhaps as a response to a more assertive attitude towards foreign investors in Niger (investment in roads has been demanded from Areva, whose license to mine for uranium in Niger is about to expire). CNPC’s activities in the region have been facing increased scrutiny: last August, CNPCIC, their subsidiary in Chad, was ordered to suspend its operations for more than a month after being found to be in breach of environmental regulations.

CNPC, Rosneft in Siberian JV

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is set to have a 49% stake in an East Siberian onshore oil production project it will undertake with Rosneft. The JV is planned to be based on the Srednebotuobinskoe field in SW Yakutia (labelled ‘2’ in this map), which Rosneft had gained control of just days before announcing the deal with the Chinese. CNPC recently bought a 20% stake in Novatek’s Yamal LNG project, and plans to close a gas supply deal with Gazprom by the end of the year.

Myanmar-China pipeline now fully operational

So says Xinhua. CNPC has a majority stake in the project, which starts in Myanmar’s coastal Rakhine (Arakan) state, where Chinese-invested projects have a history of conflict with disaffected locals (I’ve touched upon CNOOC’s activities in the area). The pipeline was being ‘tested’ by the end of July, but Chinese customs recorded no Burmese gas imports in August (Platts).