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Deadly Typhoon Threatens Strategic Chinese Oil Hub

The In-fa typhoon, which caused devastating flooding in parts of China this week—claiming at least 33 lives—is expected to make landfall this weekend in a key area hosting some of the largest Chinese refineries and oil storage tanks.

In-fa caused torrential rains and floods in the Chinese province of Henan earlier this week. Subway cars were flooded in flash floods in the capital city of the province, Zhengzhou. Twelve people were killed in a flooded subway line after being trapped for hours. Thousands of people in Henan, one of the most populous provinces in China, have been displaced.

The In-fa typhoon is now expected to make landfall in the province of Zhejiang during the weekend, a coastal province home to some of China’s newest and largest oil refineries and numerous bunkering docks.

Earlier this week, Zhoushan, the island in the Zhejiang province, halted bunker operations ahead of the expected landfall of the In-fa typhoon on Sunday, Argus reported.

Apart from major ship-refueling operations, the Zhejiang province is also home to Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical’s newest oil complex in Zhoushan. The Zhenhai refinery owned by Sinopec is also close to the path of the typhoon.

On Friday, China activated its second-highest alert due to the In-fa typhoon, issuing an orange alert for the storm now expected to make landfall between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in the province of Zhejiang.

According to some weather forecasts, In-fa could cause catastrophic flooding in China on Sunday, including in one of the largest cities and financial centers in China, Shanghai. Before landing in China, the typhoon is expected to bring inclement weather to some islands in Japan.

In-fa is the first major typhoon to hit the eastern parts of China this year during the peak typhoon season from July to September. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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