oil storage terminal in Ningbo port in Zhenhai district in the northern coastal province of Zhejiang.

The company has just completed the construction of the terminal’s two tank farms that will store up to 3.8 million cubic metres of crude oil. The smaller farm comprises 12 tanks of 100,000 cubic metres each, while the larger facility has 26 tanks.

Asia’s top refiner already owns and operates a storage facility in Zhenhai which is also home to China’s first strategic petroleum reserve facility.

Sinopec is also planning to build a 15-million-cubic metre terminal on Hainan island, as well as new tanks in other provinces.

The Chinese government is encouraging the nation’s oil companies to build up oil stockpiles now, taking advantage of the recent sharp drop in oil prices. With more than US$1.9 in foreign exchange reserves, the government is also eager to dispose of its large US dollar holdings by buying hard assets like oil.

Last month, the government began filling its Huangdao storage terminal. To date, it has constructed four national strategic crude oil terminals with a total capacity of 102 million barrels.