Japan’s top refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp said on Friday that it will shut down all refining units at its 240,200-barrel-per-day (bpd) Mizushima-B refinery in western Japan indefinitely after discovering that some inspection records had been falsified.
The company said its investigation had revealed that false inspection records had been filed for some liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks at the Mizushima-B refinery, which represents 15 percent of the company’s total 1.606 million bpd refining capacity.
The refinery’s main units consist of two crude distillation units (CDUs) with a total capacity of 205,200 bpd and a 35,000 bpd condensate splitter.
Examples of violations of Japan’s High Pressure Gas Safety Act at the plant included fewer cases of repair work than were actually necessary, a JX official said, adding that the irregularities did not compromise safety at the plant.
The units would be shut promptly, although no schedule had been set, JX officials said.
JX had not been ordered to shut the refinery by the authorities, a company official added.
The discrepancies dated back to 2000, when the refinery was operated by Japan Energy, whose parent merged with Nippon Oil to form JX Holdings Inc in 2010, the company said. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp is a wholly owned unit of JX Holdings.
The company said it would conduct an investigation into whether there were similar problems at other refineries, although it had found no occurrences at its 140,000 bpd Mizushima-A plant, formerly operated by Nippon Oil.