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CPC Cuts Ethylene Output in Taiwan After Flooding

August 13/2009

August, 13 (Bloomberg) -- CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, reduced production of ethylene after a typhoon caused flooding and prompted its customers to cut demand for the petrochemical.


The company’s ethylene plants, known as naphtha crackers, are operating at 75 percent of capacity, down from 95 percent, CPC Vice-President Lin Maw-wen said by phone from Taipei today. The refiner’s plants and refineries weren’t damaged by Typhoon Morakot, which struck the island at the weekend, Lin said.


Typhoon Morakot left at least 12 people dead in Taiwan and destroyed more than NT$2.1 billion ($64 million) in agricultural production, after the storm dumped more rain on the island than any 48-hour period since records began 100 years ago, the government said.


“We hope conditions will return to normal gradually,” Lin said. “It may take two or three days.”


Thirty-five of CPC’s 650 gasoline stations are out of service because of flooding, Lin said. The company’s two liquefied natural gas import terminals aren’t affected, he said.


Formosa Plastics Corp., Taiwan’s largest maker of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, said production at its plants in Kaohsiung is normal after flooding caused by the typhoon.


“There was some flooding, but operations have returned to normal now,” spokesman Jerry Lin said by telephone from Taipei.


Kaohsiung, where CPC’s naphtha crackers are located, is in southern Taiwan, which is among the worst-hit by the typhoon.


The crackers process naphtha into ethylene, a material for manufacturing plastics, chemicals and synthetic fabrics. CPC operates three such plants with a combined annual ethylene output capacity of 1.08 million metric tons.

 

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