Bangchak to import oil products to replace fire-related losses


BANGKOK, July 9 — Bangchak Petroleum plans to import 100 million litres of oil products per month to substitute for product losses from equipment damaged at its Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) No 3 that caught fire last week, according to Bangchak President Anusorn Sangnimnuan.

Bangchak informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand on July 4 that the fire started at a kerosene stripper at CDU No 3 in its refinery and oil distribution centre in Bangkok’s Phra Khanong district, but the blaze was brought under control in a short time.

Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti ordered the refinery to close for 30 days to allow a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire.

Mr Anusorn it was still unclear what caused the fire  last Wednesday, and is awaiting further examination by the insurance company.  The fire-damaged stripper will then be removed and replaced with a new one in a process that would take around three months.

He said that CDU No 3 has a maximum crude processing capacity of 80,000 barrels per day so that the company will import oil products to absorb its loss of product sales.

Bangchak will start importing oil products including gasoline, diesel and aircraft fuel from Singapore this week, in a volume of 100 million litres monthly, he said.

Although Bangchak must carry the burden of higher cost oil products, the company’s insurance has covered the damages, including the substitution of imported oil, he said.

Mr Anusorn said that the Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation and Amortization (EBIDA) would be reduced by Bt400-600 million or 6-7 per cent from the target of Bt7 billion this year.

He apologised to the communities around the refinery which were affected by the accident and said the company would take responsibility for all damages.

Some 107 households have so far requested compensation, he said, adding that most of the damages were broken glass windows and fallen ceiling.

Mr Anusorn pledged that Bangchak would improve their inspection processes to ensure no similar accident occurs in the future.