Fire breaks out at Formosa's Mailiao site during RDS unit restart

17 April 2012 11:43  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A small fire erupted at Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s (FPCC) residue desulphuriser (RDS) unit in Mailiao, Taiwan, early on Tuesday, but was put out around 20 minutes later.

The fire broke out at about 04:10 hours Taiwan time (20:10 GMT) on Tuesday while FPCC is testing its 80,000 bbl/day No 2 RDS unit, which is due to restart later this month, according to a company source.

The No 2 unit has been shut since 25 July 2010.

“The fire occurred when FPCC attempted to restart the RDS this morning,” a source close to the company said.

“The Formosa Group’s internal fire department put out the fire. There were no reports filed to the fire department as the RDS unit is not active, and the fire was considered to be a very small fire,” the source said.

The fire was put out after about 20 minutes, according to the source.

A company source said that a leakage of lubricant during a test run of the No 2 unit produced the smoke but there was no explosion.

Testing the No 2 unit has been halted and it is unclear as to when the unit will restart as they will have to investigate the leak and again seek permission from the authorities to start up the unit.

Meanwhile, another FPCC source said that the company’s three crackers at the Mailiao refinery site were not affected by the incident and are running at close to full capacity.

A spokesperson from Nan Ya Plastics, a unit of the Formosa group, said that its operations in Mailiao were not affected by the “minor fire” at the refinery site.

With additional reporting by Chow Bee Lin, Peh Soo Hwee, Quintella Koh and Nurluqman Suratman

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4359

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