13 December 2006 08:30 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Formosa Chemical and Fibre Corp (FCFC), the Taiwanese aromatics major, could restart the benzene unit soon following a fire at its No 2 complex, a company official said on Wednesday.
"Once the checks are complete, we could restart the unit by next week," he added.
The 350,000 tonnes/year benzene unit at Mailiao was shut on Thursday night after a fire broke out at the company’s No 2 aromatics complex.
FCFC would restart its reformers together with the benzene unit, he said. However, the fire damaged some pipes at the paraxylene (PX) and orthoxylene (OX) units and repairs were expected to take a month, the official said.
The company produces 450,000 tonnes/year of PX and 150,000 tonnes/year of OX.
FCFC declared force majeure on its OX on Friday, the official said, but this was not expected to have a large impact on its customers as most of it was consumed by its affiliate Nan Ya Plastics.
He added that the company has enough PX in its inventory for its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production.
Spot benzene bids and offers were around $1,030-1,045/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea for any January shipment on Wednesday, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing. Offers fell from $1,070-1,100/tonne earlier this week.
Most market players continued to wait and see, uncertain of the price trend in the near term.
Clive Ong contributed to this article.
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