A fire caused by a possible leakage at a distillation tower has forced a shutdown at Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s 700,000 tpa naphtha cracker. The fire is currently under control and that there were no fatalities, but has affected other units in the facility, including a unit that produces pygas. Rectification of the problem could take atleast one month. Pyrolysis gasoline, or pygas, is a naphtha-range product with a high aromatics content used either for gasoline blending or as a feedstock for a BTX extraction unit. Restart of the unit seems unclear.
Formosa's two other crackers are not affected and are still operating at full capacity. However, Formosa will need to re-examine dates of planned maintenance at its No. 2 cracker with a capacity 1.03 mln tpa scheduled from August 20 for 30-40 days.