Explosion at Refinery Operated by Taiwan Energy Firm CPC Hits Diesel Output

January 29, 2018

Taiwanese state-owned energy company CPC said diesel production would be hit at its refinery in the northwestern city of Taoyuan after an explosion at the site on Monday morning, but added that there were no reports of injury.

The accident, which led to plumes of thick smoke, happened during the restart of the refinery’s No. 2 diesel hydrodesulphurization unit after a month’s maintenance, CPC said in a statement.

CPC Vice President Ann Bih told Reuters by telephone that the incident would affect the unit’s daily production of 30,000 barrels of diesel, but that the company’s Kaohsiung plant would make up any shortfall in supply to the local market.

“We don’t know how many days it will take to fix the problem,” Bih said.

A pipeline at the diesel hydrodesulphurization unit’s reheating furnace may have exploded, causing the fire, the company said. The unit had been shut for maintenance between Dec. 25 and Jan. 27.

CPC had been fined a maximum T$1 million ($34,320) by Taiwan’s Environment Protection Administration due to severe air pollution from the incident, Taoyuan’s municipal government said in a statement.

It called on CPC to revive a plan to re-locate the refinery away from the city after a previous agreement to move the plant by 2013 had lapsed.

($1 = 29.1410 Taiwan dollars)

(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu and Jeanny Kao; additional reporting by Florence Tan; editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin)

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