Wed, Sep 07, 2011 - Page 12 News List

FPC Mailiao plant suffers another fire

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPC, 台塑石化) said another blaze broke out yesterday afternoon at one of its refinery plants in Mailiao (麥寮), Yunlin County, but had been put out within 30 minutes. The fire was the eighth accident at the site since July last year.

Just after 4:20pm yesterday afternoon, a fire struck Formosa Petrochemical’s No. 3 refinery plant in the Mailiao petrochemical complex, the company said in a statement.

Formosa Petrochemical said the fire was caused by leakage during the start of an alkylation unit at the plant, but it was extinguished at about 4:48pm.

The company said there existed a high risk when a petrochemical plant restarts operations. Bearing this in mind, the company said it had fire-fighting equipment on standby and was able to put out the fire in the shortest time possible.

“However, the company still feels sorry about the latest accident and will be more prudent in the future,” Formosa said.

According to the statement, the alkylation unit produces chemicals used in blending gasoline to produce petroleum items. The company said heavy smoke had issued from the fire, but stressed that it contained no hazardous air pollutants. The company was still investigating the cause of the fire.

There was no major damage to the refinery, the statement added.

Formosa Petrochemical is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團). Yesterday’s fire was the latest of a series of industrial safety mishap that has struck FPG over the past 14 months.

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