Taiwan's Formosa shuts most Mailiao units after power outage

20 June 2012 08:43  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Formosa was forced to shut its 1.03 m tonne/year No 2 and its 1.2 m tonne/year No 3 crackers as well as several downstream units at its complex in Mailiao on Wednesday following a power disruption, industry sources said.

More than 95% of the plants at the complex were forced to shut following the suspension of electricity supply on Wednesday, including its refineries, crackers and aromatic units, according to a trading source.

The cause of the power outage was not immediately clear.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) shut its other 700,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker in Mailiao a day earlier than scheduled on 19 June for a turnaround.

“The power is now resuming and they expect to restart firstly the refineries within today… The impact on the market probably will be more psychological than physical,” the trading source added.

It was not clear as to whether Formosa was forced to shut crude distillation units (CDU) at the 540,000 bbl/day refinery following the power outage. The refinery houses three CDUS each with a capacity of 180,000 bbl/day.

While a fixed timeline has not been set by Formosa, sources said that they expect the group to resume all units within the complex within the next few days.

Among the downstream units shut are Formosa Plastics’ 350,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit, its 264,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant and the firm’s 240,000 tonne/year density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA) swing plant.

Meanwhile, Formosa Chemicals & Fibers Corp’s (FCFC) three polypropylene (PP) units, each with a capacity of 180,000 tonnes/year, were also shut.

The company’s aromatics and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units were also shut, according to a company source.

FCFC operates a total of three aromatics units in Mailiao that have a combined nameplate capacity to produce 1.72m tonnes/year of PX and 475,000 tonne/year of OX.

The refinery also has a reformer capable of producing up to 800,000 tonnes/year of isomer-grade xylene.

FCFC also operates two PTA facilities at the Mailiao complex with a combined nameplate capacity to produce 1m tonnes/year of material.

Additional reporting by Loh Bohan, Chow Bee Lin, Peh Soo Hwee and Ong Sheau Ling

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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