Formosa Petrochemical expects naphtha cracker to restart in 7-10 days

SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp is expected to restart a 700,000-tonnes-per-year (tpy) naphtha cracker in about 7 to 10 days after the unit failed to resume normal operation on Monday as intended, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

The unit was idled unexpectedly early Monday due to minor glitches and was to restart later in the same day.

But the sudden shutdown has affected some of its structure and prevented Formosa from restarting the unit as planned, the spokesman said.

Formosa, Asia’s top naphtha importer, has two other larger crackers which have a combined capacity of 2.23 million tpy, both of which are operating normally.

Steam crackers break down naphtha into petrochemical precursors such as ethylene or propylene that are used to manufacture plastics and other chemicals.

Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Christian Schmollinger