Bangchak refinery to resume production at 120,000 barrels/day in mid-Oct

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BANGKOK, July 24 – Bangchak Petroleum’s oil refinery is preparing to resume production of refined petroleum products at up to 120,000 barrels/day in mid-October, following its fire earlier this month at a kerosene stripper in its Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) No 3 in its refinery.

Bangchak President Anusorn Sangnimnuan said the stripper will have been repaired by then, meaning that production will have been halted for about three months. Once all operations resume, the company will this year have an average refinery production of 80,000 barrels/day.

However, in the meantime there is no oil product shortage problem, he noted, for Bangchak has diverted processing to its CDU No 2 and No 4 at a capacity of 45,000 barrels/day, as well as importing oil products, and receiving assistance from the government and the country’s largest oil conglomerate PTT as the government monitors the oil products supply situation in the country.

According to Mr Anusorn, the kerosene stripper construction cost was up to Bt300 million, Bt100 million higher than earlier estimated due to changes necessary in the refinery’s electrical wiring system to ensure safety. Damage costs are expected to be within the earlier estimate at Bt500 million, and most of which is covered by insurance, he said.

The Toyo-Thai Corporation is responsible for repairing the refinery tower, he noted, while adding that Bangchak will also invite a Japanese oil refinery to give related advice to further improve safety.

Mr Anusorn will have finished his second term as Bangchak president in December after eight years of management, but he has been re-nominated by the previous board’s selection committee to continue his post for another two years or until his retirement. Such condition can be made, because Bangchak is a private firm, not a state enterprise, company sources said.

Mr Anusorn has been working there for 27 years.