Taiwan Formosa Petchem will keep refinery output at over 90%

Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp is looking to keep its June throughput at its Mailiao refinery at more than 90% of capacity, similar to May despite weaker refining margins, its spokesperson said.

Formosa operates a 540,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Mailiao, one of Asia’s larger refineries in terms of capacity.

“We have already sold our gasoline and diesel for June. We also have crude intake commitments,” said KY Lin on why it was not workable to cut runs next month.

“If the market remains as weak as it is now in July, we will consider a small cut in refinery runs,” Lin said.

Cuts, if any, would likely be small at between 5 and 10 percentage points, as the company still has to meet contractual obligations to buy crude and sell oil products, he said.

Some refineries in South Korea, Singapore and Thailand were planning to trim throughput from June as spring refining margins were at a 16-year low, with naphtha being the worse performing oil product.

Formosa also operates three naphtha crackers with a total annual ethylene capacity of 2.93 million tonnes, all of which are operating at full-tilt, according to Lin. (Reporting by Seng Li Peng and Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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