BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- China will see a wider shortage of paraxylene (PX) supply in 2014, a research report warned on Thursday.
The supply gap will be up to 9.5 million tonnes in 2014, said a report by the economics and technology research institute under the China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) Corp., the state-owned oil refining giant.
The domestic PX industry managed to meet only 47 percent of China's demand for PX in 2013.
China's PX demand topped 16.41 million tonnes in the 12 months, up 18.5 percent year on year, while imports of the chemical hit 8.7 million tonnes, up 42 percent year on year, the report said.
Construction to add PX production capacity has proven difficult. The self-sufficiency rate has been dwindling due to improving public awareness on environmental protection and inefficient communication of information on proposed plants, said Luo Hongjing, a researcher with the institute.
Since 2007, PX projects planned in Xiamen, Dalian, and Kunming have been shut down after residents took to the streets in protest, as they believed the facilities would threaten the local environment.
China is the world's largest PX producer, accounting for about a quarter of the global PX production capacity, according to the report.
PX is a major raw material for making polyester products. Traditionally, PX production lines are attached to petrochemical engineering projects.