Taiwan's Formosa to reduce output in Feb, delay coking unit restart

SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp plans to reduce the volume of crude processed in February as it delays the restart of a coking unit which was shut for regular maintenance, the company’s spokesman said on Friday.

Formosa plans to process 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in February as its 36,000-bpd delayed coker will resume operations only on Feb. 9, KY Lin said.

Crude processing rates are expected to rise to 310,000 bpd in March and April, Lin said. That is equivalent to 57% of its total capacity at 540,000 bpd.

Formosa operates three crude distillation units with a capacity of 180,000 bpd each at its complex in Mailiao.

The company has scheduled maintenance for two refining units in the next few months.

Formosa could complete repairs at its No.2 residue desulphuriser (RDS) unit by the end of April and expects to restart it by the end of June, pending government approvals, Lin said.

The RDS unit had been shut after a fire broke out in July last year.

Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri