Formosa’s 540,000 bpd refinery ready for restart next week

Subject to government approval Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp is ready to start up its 540,000 bpd refinery in stages. The refinery was completely shut following a fire at a secondary unit at end July, as per Reuters. Whether Asia's fifth largest refinery will be able fully to restore its diesel and gasoline exports, estimated at 800,000 tons a month and 210,000-240,000 tons a month, remains unclear. Formosa operates three crude distillation units (CDUs) of equal capacity of 180,000 bpd but shut the plant for safety reasons after a fire from a propylene-recovery unit damaged some of its surrounding infrastructure including power cables and optic fibres. It declared force majeure on diesel and gasoline supplies and had to store 2 mln barrels of Oman crude in South Korea, giving the market a boost. The company plans to start-up the utilities first, followed by units in train one. If everything runs smoothly, all three trains could be restarted in the refinery in early September.
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