Japan's Cosmo Oil ordered to improve 801 safety issues

14 December 2012 09:01  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS)--Japan’s Ichihara Fire Department has ordered Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil to improve on its safety standards at its 220,000 bbl/day Chiba refinery after the department discovered 801 safety issues, a department official said on Friday.

The department has also instructed the company to remove unused facilities, he added.

After receiving the order, Cosmo Oil has submitted documents to the fire department on 8 November, outlining the measures it plans to take to improve the refinery’s safety, a company spokesman said.

“We plan to repair [facilities] and make improvements as instructed [by the fire department],” he told ICIS in Japanese by telephone.

The fire department ran an inspection at the refinery from 29 August to 28 September 2012 because there has been a series of accidents at the site, including the fire at the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks directly after the massive earthquake on 11 March 2011, and an asphalt leak in the ocean on 28 June 2012, the official said.

The safety issues discovered were largely related to holes in hydrants and rusts in aging pipes, the official said.

Cosmo Oil’s Chiba refinery is currently shut, but the refiner is hoping to restart the 120,000 bbl/day No 2 crude distillation unit (CDU) by the end of January 2013, according to the company spokesman.

The refiner had temporarily restarted the 100,000 bbl/day No 1 and No 2 CDU in April 2012, after they were shut for a year following the fire at the LPG tanks, but the company was forced to suspend operation again in June 2012 because of the asphalt leak, the spokesman added.

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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