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Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical to start up its refinery

August 15/2011

(Reuters) -- Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp is ready to start up its 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in stages after it was completely shut following a fire at a secondary unit end July, its spokesman said on Thursday.

But it was not immediately clear when Asia's fifth largest refinery will be able fully to restore its diesel and gasoline exports, estimated at 800 KT a month and 210-240 KT a month respectively. "We are ready for start-up on Aug. 20, but that is subject to government approval," said its spokesman.

"We will first start-up the utilities, followed by units in train one. If everything runs smoothly, we could restart all three trains in the refinery in early September." "But it is not clear when we can restore the gasoline and diesel export volumes."  

Formosa operates three crude distillation units (CDUs) of equal capacity of 180,000 bpd but shut the plant for safety reasons after a fire from a propylene-recovery unit damaged some of its surrounding infrastructure including power cables and optic fibres.

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