Taiwan petrochemical operations largely unaffected by heavy rains

13 June 2012 12:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical facilities in Taiwan are operating as normal despite heavy rains pounding parts of the island, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Torrential rains whipped through northern parts of Taiwan on Monday night and continued in central and southern parts on Wednesday afternoon.

At 15:15 Taiwan time (07:15GMT), the island’s Central Weather Bureau repeated torrential rain warnings for parts of Taiwan.

Six people were killed when heavy rains lashed the island on Monday night, according to media reports. The deluge led to severe flooding and landslides in certain areas, including the capital Taipei, causing disruption to land and air transportation.

However, checks with petrochemical companies in Taiwan indicated that operations had not been affected by flooding, although Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) may face some problems with water supply at its Mailiao complex.

There were concerns that damage to a dam on the river Jhuoshuei, that deviates water from the upper stretch of the river to Formosa Plastics Group’s oil refineries at Mailiao in Yunlin County, could affect operations.

A spokesperson from Formosa Petrochemical Corp, part of the FPG conglomerate, said that the company has back-up plans to ensure operations will continue unhampered even if water supplies are cut off.

Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp’s (FCFC) purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units, as well as its paraxylene plants in Mailiao continue to operate, according to a company source.

FCFC’s nylon (polyamide) chip and yarn operations at Jiayi, Changhua county, are also unaffected, said another company source.

Ming Dih Group’s 180,000 tonne/year expandable polystyrene (EPS) facility in Kaohsiung is running normally, said a company source.

Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, was expected to experience rain and thunderstorms throughout Wednesday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Operations at Taita Chemical’s styrenics facilities in the area were also unaffected, said a company source.

Taita has a 100,000 tonne/year polystyrene (PS) plant and a 67,000 tonne/year expandable PS (EPS) unit in Kaohsiung, and an 80,000 tonne/year acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plant in nearby Linyuan.

A source from Taiwan Fertilizers Co (TFC) said that rains have subsided in Taipei but continued to be heavy in the south. TFC’s production facilities in Kaohsiung have not been adversely affected by the heavy rains, said the source.

Additional reporting by Bohan Loh, Clive Ong, Gabriela Wheeler and Junie Lin


By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359



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