TOKYO, July 26 Nansei Sekiyu KK may restart
partial refining operations at its Nishihara refinery in Okinawa
early next week, less than two weeks after a gas explosion at a
furnace, the local fire department said on Friday.
Nansei on Thursday submitted an application to partially
lift a suspension order with the fire department, a company
spokesman said, asking to restart operations at its sole 100,000
barrels per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) and some
other units that were undamaged as they are located away from
The fire department had ordered the restart of the refinery
to be delayed indefinitely after the gas explosion at the
furnace for a 13,500 bpd gasoline-making reformer a week ago,
with damage to the wall of the furnace expected to take more
than a month to repair.
The incident occurred on July 19 during preparation for the
restart of the refinery after maintenance.
The refinery, wholly owned by Brazil's Petrobras,
had been under maintenance since July 2 and was scheduled to
restart on July 20.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)