Typhoon Saola pounds northeast Taiwan; petchem ops not affected

02 August 2012 09:13  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Typhoon Saola has been pounding Taiwan with heavy rains since early Thursday when it made landfall, prompting an almost islandwide work suspension.

Financial markets were closed but in the petrochemical hubs of Mailiao and Kaohsiung – located in the western parts of the island – plant operations were unhampered, based on checks with industry sources in Taiwan.

Sources at Taiwan’s petrochemical giant Formosa group said that their plants continue to operate normally in spite of Typhoon Saola.

These include Formosa Chemicals and Fibres Corp’s (FCFC) No 1 and No 3 aromatics units in Mailiao, while the company’s No 2 unit is shut for turnaround.

Operations at Formosa Plastics Corp’s (FPC) acetone cyanohydrin-based 98,000 tonne/year methyl methacrylate (MMA) in Mailiao are also currently normal, said a company source.

Also located in Mailiao, Changchun Petrochemicals' acetic acid plant with up to 460,000 tonne/year capacity is also unlikely to be affected since rains and winds are heavier in the northern parts, a company source said.

Taiwan’s CPC Corp has delayed awarding its buy tender for a 30,000-tonne naphtha cargo for first-half September delivery because of inclement weather.

Typhoon Saola made landfall near Hualien County in northeastern Taiwan at 03:20 hours  Taiwan time (19:20 GMT) on Thursday, and packing winds with speed of up to 155 km/hour (97miles/hour), according to the island’s Central Weather Bureau.

Saola killed at least 14 people when it passed through the Philippines.

Additional reporting by Serena Seng, Ong Sheau Ling, Hazel Kumari, Samuel Wong, Heng Hui, and Junie Lin

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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