* China independent refiner group seeks fuel export license
* Group of six refiners based in Shandong province (Adds comments from independent refiner in paragraph 5.)
SHANGHAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A newly formed group of China’s independent oil refiners filed an application with the country’s Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday for fuel export quotas next year, a source with one of the group’s member companies said on Thursday.
The government has excluded independent plants this year from exporting refined fuel, having granted quotas only to state refiners.
In September, a group of six independent oil refiners set up the $5 billion joint venture, named the Shandong Refining & Chemical Group, to compete with the state-owned oil companies and privately owned chemical companies.
Many of China’s independent refiners count on the country’s state-owned refiners as their main customers for their refined products because they have limited infrastructure such as storage tanks or a retailing network to sell directly to consumers.
Jiao Chong, the managing director of Qingyuan Group, a founding member of the Shandong Refining Group, said the government shall consider rewarding plants with fuel quotas that have moved quickly to upgrade their fuel quality to meet more stringent emissions standards and established credit in the crude oil market.
“Allowing these plants to export fuel will open a new channel for independents’ fine quality products and help boost margins,” said Jiao by cellphone from Shandong. He said he was not aware of the actual application and was not able to give a size of the quotas the group has applied for.
Qingyuan is based in the city of Zibo in the eastern province of Shandong where a majority of China’s independent refiners, sometimes called teapots, are located.
Reporting by Meng Meng and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger