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.