Idemitsu Kosan to shut down three refineries in 2010

25 March 2010 14:41  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan plans to shut down three of its refineries during the second half of 2010 in response to weak market conditions, a source close to the company said on Thursday.

The source said the company planned to shut down its 140,000 bbl/day Hokkaido refinery between June and July for around 30 days. Meanwhile, Idemitsu's 160,000 bbl/day refinery in Aichi would shut down for around 30 days between October and November.

Indemitsu’s 120,000 bbl/day Tokuyama refinery would shut down between November and December also for around 30 days, the source said.

Earlier in March, Indemitsu announced plans to lower operating rates at its refineries to around 448,000 bbl/day or around 70% of capacity from 1 April. Earlier in 2010 operating rates were around 79% of capacity.

The move by Indemitsu has come amid an ongoing decline in Japanese oil demand over recent years, which has been exacerbated by the recent global recession.

The decline in Japan’s oil demand has been driven in part by a switch to the use of gas and electricity for heating and power and a move to more energy efficient transportation systems. An aging population and the movement of manufacturing business offshore have added further downward pressure on demand.

Idemitsu operates four refineries in Japan, which have a combined capacity of 640,000 bbl/day.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4359

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