China’s environmental watchdog lifted ban on new projects at its two largest refining companies after determining they met pollution targets last year. The ban, in effect for nearly eight months, had been imposed as concerns about air pollution in China rose and Beijing came under increasingly public pressure to address the problem. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said in an online statement posted Wednesday but dated April 18 that it was lifting the ban, which had applied to China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec. Between them the two make up more than three quarters of China’s refining capacity. The ministry said both companies boosted spending, fixed problems and accelerated the construction of key projects that helped reduce emissions of four major pollutants in 2013 when compared with 2012. The ministry didn’t provide further details. CNPC’s listed PetroChina Co. unit referred questions […]