Unexpected power cut at Ulsan affects SK Energy’s refining and petrochemical plants

07-Dec-11
An unexpected power cut in South Korea's southeastern oil and petrochemical hub of Ulsan has hit the refining and petrochemical plants of the country's largest crude refiner, SK Energy, prompting some shutdowns, prompting some shutdowns, as per Reuters. It was too early to say when the company's closed units could be restarted. SK Energy runs crude distillation units (CDUs) with a total capacity of 840,000 bdp in Ulsan, two naphtha crackers with a combined capacity of 860,000 tpa, a heavy oil upgrading facilities of a combined capacity of 172,000 bpd. As per state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp., the power supply had been restored after a 10 minute disruption at around 2 p.m. because of problems at a substation. Investigations are underway about the cause of the shutdown. SK spokesmen said some of the units were closed, but it was hard to tell which units. "We don't know which units are running or how long shutdowns will continue. Some units are running on the company's emergency power generating facilities, but it is hard to tell which are operating and which are not, as the whole place is dark and you can only see a few flares from the chimneys of the facilities." Any delays in gasoil cargoes are likely to have some impact as SK Energy is one of the largest exporters of diesel, but the impact may be kept to a minimum as demand is lackluster in Asia with Indonesian imports remaining stable for December and China's domestic diesel demand steady, regional traders said.
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