Earthquake shutters Japanese refinery

An early-morning earthquake off the island of Kyushu, Japan, on Mar. 14 has resulted in an emergency shutdown of Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.’s Tokuyama refinery and petrochemical complex.

All of the equipment at the 120,000-b/d refinery and adjoining petrochemical plant, which produces about 623,000-tonnes/year of ethylene, was shuttered following the earthquake, according to Idemitsu Kosan.

An assessment of the Tokuyama complex currently is under way, the company said.

While the company said it is preparing to resume operations at the refinery and petrochemical plant, a timetable for the potential restart was not disclosed.

The earthquake registered a magnitude of 6.3, according to the US Geological Survey’s web site.

Idemitsu Kosan previously has said it planned to permanently close Tokuyama’s 120,000-b/d crude unit this month (OGJ Online, Dec. 3, 2012).

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