Authorities in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, halted the planned US$8.9 billion expansion of a petrochemical plant after protests erupted over the project last week, The Wall Street Journal reported. Officials in the city said the expansion to the facility, a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corporation (owner of Sinopec; SNP.NYSE, 0386.HKG, 600028.SHA), was suspended pending further review. The part of the plant that produces paraxylene will also be closed after locals protested the potential ill effects of the chemical on residents’ health and the environment. The demonstrations are the latest of several recent incidents in which locals have succeeded in stalling massive industrial projects. Protests in the western city of Shifang and the coastal city of Qidong stopped construction on chemical and industrial waste projects in July. Sinopec reported Sunday that profits were down 9.4% in the third quarter of the year, South China Morning Post reported.