09 March 2007 04:25 [Source: ICIS news]
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Taiwanese major Formosa Petrochemical is to start pre-commissioning activities at Asia’s largest cracker next week and targets to start it up at end-April, a company spokesman said on Friday.
"We are at the end of the construction stage and have started cleaning up," spokesman CY Su said in Mandarin.
The company is also likely to start up the unit even if it did not receive more water allocation from the government, he added.
"We have received environment approval for the project. But the government is relooking at the water permit," Su said.
He added that the company’s water quota has not increased since the first phase of its development in Mailiao. Now, the company is at its fourth phase, and ready to start up the 1.2m tonne/year cracker.
Formosa Petrochemical has an agreement with the government to be able to use more water than allocated as long as it does not have any negative impact, Su said, adding that the company would go ahead with the start-up.
The 1.2m tonne/year cracker project was earlier scheduled to start up at end-2006, but was delayed to the second quarter of this year due to labour shortage and problems with securing construction materials.
The unit, which can also produce 600,000 tonnes/year of propylene, was expected to have a large impact on olefins demand supply balance in northeast Asia.
An olefins conversion unit, producing 250,000 tonnes/year propylene, and a 176,000 tonne/year butadiene unit were also due to start up with the cracker.
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