UpdateTaiwan’s CPC shuts Kaohsiung cracker after explosion, fire

06 April 2012 04:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s state-owned refining firm CPC was forced to shut its 500,000 tonne/year No 5 cracker at its Kaohsiung complex on Friday following a pipeline leak that led to an explosion at the site, a company official said.

“We are still attending to the accident site and we have no other details,” the official said, adding that other plants were not affected.

The explosion, believed to be at a crude butadiene tank at the site, occurred at about 03.00 hours Taiwan time (19:00 GMT), according to sources.

The subsequent fire was extinguished in about two hours and there were no reported casualties, they said.

The CPC official said that the No 5 cracker was operating at 90% capacity prior to the outage.

CPC facilities include a 230,000 tonne/year No 3 cracker and a 385,000 tonne/year No 4 cracker in Linyuan in southern Taiwan.

The company runs three paraxylene (PX) units at the site with a total production capacity of 660,000 tonnes/year. CPC also produces 170,000 tonnes/year of OX at the site.

A CPC customer based in Kaohsiung said that it was unclear as to when the company will be able to restart the cracker and the immediate impact to the company’s aromatics production.

“There is a gathering at the Kaohsiung [site] protesting,” the source added.

Additional reporting by Bohan Loh and Quintella Koh

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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