August 16, 2021 [Nasdaq] – China’s state-owned Yantian Port Group is reviving a 19 million-barrel oil storage facility in the Zhoushan archipelago after acquiring the asset from a debt-laden private firm, according to two industry sources and local state media.
Yantian Port, backed by Shenzhen municipal government, in June completed its acquisition of a 90% stake in privately controlled Brightoil Petroleum Holdings’ Hong Kong unit that previously owned the Zhoushan project, Shenzhen’s state-asset regulator said.
Zhoushan in Zhejiang province is one of China’s largest oil receiving points and a top marine fuel hub. Companies have been adding commercial storage in recent years along the country’s east coast that have fueled record purchases by the world’s largest crude oil buyer.
The project, that includes a terminal to anchor 2 million-barrel-sized super tankers and 3.1 million cubic meters (18.9 million barrels) of storage thanks, has an investment value of over 6 billion yuan ($926.27 million) after Yantian Port’s takeover, Zhoushan Daily reported last week.
Yantian Port aimed to test operations of 1.94 million cubic metres (12 million barrels) of oil depots and the crude oil terminal by the end of this year, Zhoushan Daily said.
“The Zhoushan project is Yantian’s experiment with mixed ownership and a platform for the group to expand beyond port operations,” said an industry executive familiar with the transaction.
The location of Zhoushan, the world’s largest port by cargo throughput, will allow Yantian, which recently won a bunker license in Shenzhen, to expand into marine fuel business in Zhoushan, said the executive.
Yantian Port declined to comment on its business plans.
Brightoil, once a fast-expanding private oil trader and bunker supplier, had amassed large debts and was delisted in 2017 from the Hong Kong stock exchange.
To pay off debts, the firm, which still owns oil and gas producing assets in China, had tried to sell oil tankers and storage facilities including the Zhoushan project.
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