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Formosa to increase capacity utilisation at its refinery in Taiwan to 74% in May

April 21/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp plans to ramp up operating rates at its refinery in May to 74% once it restarts a gasoline-making unit after maintenance and as refining margins have improved, reported Reuters with reference to the company's spokesman.

Formosa plans to process 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in May, or 74% of its total capacity, up from 340,000 bpd in March and April, spokesman KY Lin told Reuters.

The higher utilization rate comes as Asian gasoline refining margins have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Formosa is among the largest oil products exporters in Asia and a ramp-up in its output is expected to lead to more exports.

Formosa's refinery has been operating at about 60% between February and April due to maintenance, while its No.2 residue desulphuriser unit is undergoing repairs following a fire in July. "Our RCC (residue catalytic cracker) will resume operations in May so we'll process some sweet crude," Lin said, adding that prices for gasoline and propylene, a petrochemical feedstock, produced from the RCC are favourable.

Formosa operates three crude distillation units with a capacity of 180,000 bpd each at its complex in Mailiao.

As MRC informed earlier, Formosa Plastics Company (FPC), part of Formosa Petrochemical, expects to resume 100% capacity utilisation at its No. 1 cracker in Mailiao, Taiwan in a couple of days after restart. This cracker was unexpectedly taken off-stream on 12 April 2021 due to an unspecified technical issue and resumed operations on 19 April 2021. The No. 1 cracker has an annual capacity of 700,000 tons of ethylene and 350,000 tons of propylene.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers 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).


mrcplast.com
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Formosa, Russia, Taiwan.
Category:General News
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