CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals have appointed a consortium led by Bechtel Co. as project manager for a USD 4.05 billion petrochemical joint venture in southern China. In addition to Bechtel, the consortium includes fellow US company Foster Wheeler Corp. and China’s Sinopec Engineering Institute. Construction of the plant at Huizhou in the southern province of Guangdong is expected to start in early 2003 and the complex is scheduled to start operation at the end of 2005. The plant is expected to produce 800,000 tonnes of ethylene and 2.3 million tonnes of petrochemical products annually. Shell Chemicals holds a 50% stake in the joint venture and the CNOOC and the Guangdong Investment and Development Company own the other half. The consortium will provide technical services, including completing the technical definition of the plant, an environmental assessment and help raise the finance.