Fire halts operations at Malaysian refinery

Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd. has suspended operations at its 88,000-b/d Port Dickson refinery in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, about 90 km from Kuala Lumpur, following a late-June fire at the plant.

The fire, which broke out about 9 p.m. local time on June 24, was quickly contained and extinguished by 11 p.m. that same day, PMRMB said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

No injuries occurred as a result of the incident, but the refinery has been shut down temporarily to enable PMRMB to make an assessment of damage caused by the fire as well as to begin necessary repairs, the company said.

An official investigation into the cause of the fire remains under way.

While PMRMB did not disclose details regarding the possible duration of the refinery’s temporary shutdown, the company did confirm it has enacted contingency plans to prevent supply interruptions to customers during the closure.

PMRMB most recently completed a 40-day scheduled maintenance turnaround at the Port Dickson refinery during fourth-quarter 2015, which included upgrades to improve operational performance and overall efficiency at the plant, according to the company’s latest annual report.

The last quarter of 2015 was particularly challenging as PMRMB’s Port Dickson Refinery (PDR) completed a 40-day scheduled maintenance turnaround.

Alongside its main crude distillation unit, the Port Dickson refining complex includes a naphtha hydrotreating unit, two semiregeneration reformer units, and a kerosine hydrotreating unit, which together process predominantly light, low-sulfur imported crudes to produce gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, LPG, and low-sulfur waxy residue.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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