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Formosa to operate refinery in Mailiao at near 70% due to maintenance

October 09/2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwans Formosa Petrochemical Corp aims to lower its October average run rate at the 540,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Mailiao refinery to about 70% from more than 87% last month due to maintenance, reported Reuters with reference to the company's spokesman.

Formosa, Asias sixth-largest standalone refinery by capacity, has taken an 80,000-bpd residue desulphurizer down for a planned maintenance since Tuesday.

Throughput at the crude units has to be adjusted down accordingly from this week, said the spokesman, adding that this would also affect its gasoline production as less fuel oil feedstock would be available for making petrol.

He estimated that the amount of petrol that would be lost during the maintenance could be equivalent to two medium-range tankers.

Formosas lower production run is coming at a time when demand for oil products is strong.

An attack on Saudi Arabias oil facilities on Sept. 14 had disrupted the Kingdoms production and prompted Aramco to source fuel, including naphtha, gasoline and diesel, from various outlets to plug the gap.

This pushed the overall Asian average monthly refining margin in September to a two-year high of more than USD7.50 a barrel.

As MRC informed before, on 19 March, 2018, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) undertook an emergency shutdown at its No. 1 cracker in Mailiao owing to technical issues. The plant remained off-line for around one day. Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the No. 1 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 700,000 mt/year, propylene production capacity of 350,000 mt/year and butadiene production capacity of 109,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,255,800 tonnes in the first seven months of 2019, up by 9% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. Meanwhile, the estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 796,120 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 11% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Formosa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan.
Category:General News
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