11 March 2011 12:20 [Source: ICIS news]
(Releads and adds details throughout)
By Tomomi Yokomura
At least 55 people have been killed and over 50 have been reported missing, according to local media reports.
The quake struck
USGS earlier put the magnitude of the quake on the Richter scale at 7.9 but revised it up to 8.8, then to 8.9.
It generated a huge tsunami with waves up to 10 metres high, which swept inland destroying buildings and infrastructure.
Countries in the Pacific basin including the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, among others, raised tsunami warnings.
It was the biggest quake
Large tsunami has been observed in many parts of northern
It was not clear which ports are closed, but the
Following the quake, fire broke out at the chemical factory of JFE Chemical in the Chuo ward in the city of
No one was available for comment at either company.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy shut its paraxylene facilities in Kashima, with a combined capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year and in
Meanwhile, a source close to the company said that three of JX Nippon Oil’s refineries were down - a 145,000 bbl/day unit at Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, a 189,000 bbl/day crude oil refinery at Kashima in Ibaraki prefecture and a 270,000 bbl/day unit at Negishi, Kanagawa prefecture.
None of the major chemical producers including Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical, which operate chemical plants in Kashima,
The quake and the tsunami that followed downed phone lines and caused power outage in parts of
“It [quake] is a big one this time and quite bad. We don’t know the extent of the damage yet and will have to wait and see. But all petrochemical plants will obviously have to stop operating,” said a trader from Marubeni.
Tokyo Electric Power also shut down its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) reactors with capacities of 460 megawatts and 784 megawatts. It also shut its Fukushima Daini reactors with a combined capacity 1.1-gigawatt reactors because of the quake.
Stock markets in Asia fell as the natural disaster compounded investors' concerns over unrest in
The Bank of Japan said in a statement that it will continue to assess the possible impact of the earthquake.
It said it is ready to take action as necessary, including the provision of liquidity, to ensure stability and to secure the smooth settlement of funds, in the coming week.
Crude and naphtha prices also fell as the focus of energy players was temporarily diverted from supply concerns because of ongoing political upheaval in parts of the
At 09:40 GMT, light sweet crude for April delivery was down 66 US cents at $102.04/bbl, while Brent crude fell $1.52/bbl to $113.91/bbl.
Naphtha prices, meanwhile, plunged below $1,000/tonne (€730/tonne) to $989-991/tonne CFR Japan at the close of trading on Friday, on concerns that cracker operations in
($1 = €0.73)
Additional reporting by Mahua Chakravarty, Clive Ong, Helen Yan, Felicia Loo, Bohan Loh, James Dennis, Tahir Ikram, Nurluqman Suratman, Becky Zhang and Peh Soo Hwee
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