Taiyo Oil upgrading to refine heavy oil

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 -- Japan's Taiyo Oil Co., which refines petroleum products from light crude, plans to spend ¥50 billion to install cracking equipment for heavy oil at its Ehime Prefecture refinery.

The firm wants to produce more gasoline and petrochemical products to fulfill expected demand growth. The company's total output of petrochemicals is expected to reach 1 million tonnes/year, while heavy oil production will decline by 1.2 million kl.

The new equipment, to go on stream in 2010, will increase Taiyo's production of raw materials for gasoline by 600,000 kl, kerosine and light oil by 300,000 kl, propylene by 100,000 kl, and benzene and xylene by a combined 50,000 kl.

Taiyo also will set up a 43,000-kw power generator to burn gases from production of petrochemicals and other products. The company plans to sell surplus electricity wholesale to power retailers and others.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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