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A massive earthquake disrupted petrochemical operations in Japan

March 11/2011

(ICIS) -- A massive earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan killed more than 50 people and disrupted petrochemical operations on Friday. At least 55 people have been killed and over 50 have been reported missing, according to local media reports.

The quake struck Japans northeast coast, some 373 km (231 miles) northeast of Tokyo, and 130km east of Sendai, Honshu the largest island in the country, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). USGS earlier put the magnitude of the quake on the Richter scale at 7.9 but revised it up to 8.8, then to 8.9. It generated a huge tsunami with waves up to 10 metres high, which swept inland destroying buildings and infrastructure.

Following the quake, fire broke out at the chemical factory of JFE Chemical in the Chuo ward in the city of Chiba, Chiba prefecture, as well as at the 220.000 bpd refinery of Cosmo Oil, located in the city of Ichihara, Chiba prefecture.

JFE Chemical produces coal tar, benzene, toluene and xylene and industrial gases including oxygen, nitrogen and argon.


JX Nippon Oil & Energy shut its paraxylene facilities in Kashima, with a combined capacity of 600 KTa and in Kawasaki with a combined capacity of 350 KTa, market sources said.

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