Japan’s JX Nippon to shut Mizhushima refinery B on safety issues

13 July 2012 12:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--JX Nippon Oil will shut operations at its Mizushima B refinery in Okayama prefecture for safety checks, the Japanese producer said on Friday.

The company said that 18 out of the 26 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks at the refinery do not meet the government’s safety standards.

“All the operations at the LPG tanks which had been determined to be insufficiently equipped will be halted with effect from today,” JX Nippon Oil said in the statement in Japanese.

The refinery was shut along with all downstream units, said a market source.

JX Nippon Oil produces 240,000 tonnes/year of benzene from two reformers in Mizushima, another 120,000 tonnes/year of benzene from a toluene disproportionation (TDP) unit and 130,000 tonnes/year of benzene from a hydro-dealkylation (HDA) facility in Mizushima.

JX Nippon Oil regularly exports benzene to the US, where prompt supply is currently limited, said a Japan-based trader.

Benzene supply is likely to tighten further due to the shutdown at Mizushima and will exacerbate the tight supply of July and August loading cargoes in the Asian market, the trader said.

Additional reporting by Peh Soo Hwee, Jasmine Khoo, Samuel Wong and Yu Guo

By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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