Bangchak to replace faulty equipment fingered in refinery fire

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BANGKOK, July 5 – Equipment damaged in yesterday’s Bangchak Petroleum fire—a kerosene stripper—will be replaced and the company plans to restart its No 2 crude unit with a 40,000 barrel per day capacity within seven days, Bangchak President Anusorn Sangnimnuan said here on Thursday.

A statement from Bangchak to the Stock Exchange of Thailand said the fire started at a kerosene stripper at the No 3 crude unit of 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 said that the company’s engineers inspected the location where the fire started for restoration work and initially found that the kerosene stripper should be replaced.

The company will purchase a new unit from another company and expected the replacement task would be completed within 2-3 months, he said.

Moreover, within the next seven days, the company will restart the No 2 crude distillation unit which has capacity of 40,000 barrels a day.

Meanwhile, some 100 Bangchak staff visited communities around the refinery to extend assistance. It was found that some 50 homes were damaged from the impact of the explosions at the refinery.  Fourteen groups of builders were hired to repair their homes.