New Chinese independent processors building mega refineries Budding plants in Zhejiang, Liaoning to produce petrochemicals China’s independent refiners burst onto the international oil market scene only a couple of years ago and lifted the nation past the U.S. as the world’s No. 1 crude buyer . Now, a new generation of firms building some of the globe’s biggest plants are threatening to eclipse them. The original set of private processors, known as teapots, is clustered in the eastern Shandong province, and operate relatively small refineries that pump out fuels such as gasoline and diesel. By contrast, the budding giants supported by the regional governments in Zhejiang and Liaoning will focus on making petrochemicals — the building blocks of everything from sportswear to soda cans and Star Wars figures. At last week’s Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore, one of the industry’s largest gatherings, traders and company executives were speculating […]