Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp (6505.TW: Quote) is restarting one of three crude distillation units (CDUs) on Thursday, with low output to be expected on Friday, a company spokesman said.
The 540,000 barrel-per-day refinery, Asia’s fifth largest, was completely shut early this week following a fire.
“We will start a CDU and its secondary units today. We can expect low output tomorrow,” said the spokesman.
“But some 70-80 percent of our gasoline and diesel exports will still have to be deferred from a few days to several days.”
The company exports around 210,000-240,000 tonnes of gasoline a month, and about 800,000 tonnes of diesel a month.
The refinery comprizes three CDUs of equal capacity, and the refiner is looking to restart the entire complex in 1-2 weeks.
“We have to start the CDUs one by one. Output at each unit will take around 3-4 days’ to ramp up. So with three units, it could take one to two weeks,” he added.
The fire started at a residue desulphurising (RDS) unit, but it is not immediately clear when they can restart this line.
“We are still inspecting the damage and this will take time,” he said.