21 September 2010 07:29 [Source: ICIS news]
By Judith Wang
SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Chemical transport in south China is expected to resume after typhoon Fanapi weakened to a tropical depression in southern Guangdong province early on 21 September, industry sources said on Tuesday.
Typhoon Fanapi made a landfall at 07:00 hours (23:00 hours GMT) on 20 September at Gulei town in Fujian province, with peak wind gusts of 35m/s (126km/hr), but had weakened to a tropical depression at 02:00 hours on 21 September after reaching Guangdong province, according to China’s National Meteorological Center.
Land and water transport in south China had earlier been disrupted by the floods caused by typhoon Fanapi, which was said by Chinese media reports to be the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.
However, market players told ICIS that the operations at most petrochemical plants in that region had not been seriously affected.
“The typhoon was not as serious as we expected. Production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is normal and the only thing that was affected by the typhoon was logistics. Cargoes could not be delivered from south to east China because of the heavy winds at sea,” a Fujian-based PTA producer said in Mandarin.
“I think transport will likely resume to normal by today, as the winds are weakening,” he added.
Construction of a petrochemical base at Zhangpu in Fujian province had earlier been suspended in anticipation of typhoon Fanapi’s arrival, according to a Chinese media report.
The hundreds of construction workers working at the base were also told to take shelter at schools nearby, said the report.
In addition, the provincial governments of Xiamen, Fuzhou, Zhangzhou and Quanzhou had yesterday shut all kindergartens, primary and middle schools in their regions on safety concerns, said media reports.
Meanwhile, thousands of passengers were left stranded after flights to and from tourism resorts in Xiamen were suspended on 19 September. However, the flights were scheduled to resume by the next day, said the reports.
“I haven’t heard of any serious impact caused by the typhoon, but it was an inconvenience in terms of cargo transport. However, it should resume within these two days, since the rain and winds have weakened,” a Fujian-based dioctyl phthalate (DOP) trader said in Mandarin.
The NMC had also lifted its typhoon warning on Tuesday morning, given the weakening of Fanapi, but warned that the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan would be hit by strong rains over the next two days.
Typhoon Fanapi hit the island of Taiwan over the last weekend, bringing with it torrential rains and heavy floods that forced the shutdown of some petrochemical plants in Kaohsiung on Sunday.
Economic loss from Fanapi’s onslaught in Taiwan was estimated at around New Taiwan dollars (NT$) 3bn ($95m), according to a statement by the island’s Ministry of Economic Affairs on 20 September.
($1 = NT$31.67)
With additional reporting by Pearl Bantillo
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
Asian Chemical Connections