Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp. plans to restart its 700,000 tpa No. 1 naphtha cracker this week, as per Reuters. The cracker was shut after a pipeline fire in May. It's 540,000 bpd refinery was completely shut at the end of July post a fire at a propylene recovery unit which destroyed power cables. Last of three crude distillation units (CDU) was restarted last week, after which the refinery is operating at around 400,000-plus bpd. Maximum operating rates cannot be reached until the restart of one of the two residual fluid catalytic crackers (RFCC). The 84,000 bpd RFCC is to restart around Sept. 20.
The refinery, Asia's fifth largest by capacity, has three CDUs of which each has a capacity of 180,000 bpd. The first two CDUs restarted around Aug. 20 and early September respectively. It also operates a 2.93 mln tpa naphtha cracking complex which houses three crackers. A 1.2 mln tpa No. 3 cracker was shut around middle of August for a planned maintenance. It has another 1.03 mln tpa No. 2 cracker which is in operation.