Formosa Petrochemical Corp has scheduled the closure of its 700,000 tpa No. 1 naphtha cracker for a 40-day maintenance period starting next September, as per Reuters. The smallest of three naphtha units was previously shut for about four months from May 12 following a fire at a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline. There are no plans to shut the other two crackers for maintenance in 2012. The No. 3 unit, the largest of the crackers with a capacity of 1.2 mln tpa had undergone a turnaround in August 2011.
Like some of its petrochemical counterparts in Asia, Formosa is running its 2.93 million tpa cracking complex at a reduced rate of 80% due to weak plastics margins caused by sluggish import demand from China.