State Council announces support for Zhejiang FTZ in oil & gas development

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated : 2020-04-01

The State Council recently approved a series of measures to support the open development of the oil and gas industrial chain in the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. The zone celebrated its 3rd anniversary on April 1.

"The approval from the State Council will not only drive the development of the domestic oil industry, but also boost the economy of Zhejiang province," said Dong Xiucheng, a professor from the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics.

The 26 measures include attracting international oil trade investors of strategic importance, such as established exchanges from New York, London, Singapore and Dubai, advancing the development of the Zhoushan Green Petrochemical Base, building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) reception hub, allowing local non-State-owned companies to export refined oil, improve the supply of low-sulfur bunker fuel, and promote innovation in shipping.

"Welcoming international investors represents a further step toward fully opening up for Zhejiang FTZ, at least in its oil and gas trade. Allowing outside investors to enter the domestic exchange field is also an unprecedented move for China," Dong added.

Liu Manping, a senior economist of the price monitoring center of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the construction of an LNG reception hub was a sign of the increasing significance of Zhejiang province in the domestic oil and gas trade. Liu predicted that Zhejiang will become the third national oil and gas trade center in China, after Shanghai and Chongqing.

Zhejiang FTZ is the only FTZ in China to focus on the development of the oil and gas industrial chain. It has made remarkable progress in this regard over the past three years, including by building the ENN Zhoushan LNG Import Terminal, the nation's first LNG import terminal to have been built by a private company.