GUANGZHOU, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The construction of a petrochemical plant in Maoming in south China's Guangdong Province will not go ahead if the majority of residents object to it, the municipal government said.
"We are at a stage of disseminating information relating to the paraxylene (PX) project," a municipal government spokesman told Xinhua late on Monday on condition of anonymity, adding that the government would not go ahead with the project without consulting the public.
More than 1,000 locals staged protests on Saturday and Sunday in front of the government building to express their objection to the project.
Since 2007, PX projects planned in Xiamen, Dalian, and Kunming have been shut down after residents protested, as they believed the facilities would threaten the local environment.
PX is a major raw material for making polyester products.
There will be a shortage of PX supply in China this year, according to a research report by the economics and technology research institute under the China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) Corp., a state-owned oil refining company.
The supply gap will be up to 9.5 million tonnes. The domestic PX industry managed to meet only 47 percent of demand in 2013, according to the report.
Maoming is a major Chinese petrochemical production base. The PX project was approved in 2012 with an annual production capacity expected at 600,000 tonnes, according to media reports.