Fire breaks out at FPG petrochemical complex in Yunlin

Photo courtesy of Yunlin County Fire Department

TAIPEI (CNA) — A fire broke out following an explosion at a petrochemical plant run by the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) in its petrochemical complex in Mailiao, Yunlin County on Wednesday morning. Three injuries were reported.

The blaze occurred at a hydrodesulfurization (HDS) factory, local firefighters said, and a preliminary investigation at the scene found that heavy oil and hydrogen gas were the substances that burned.

The fire spanned an area of about 2,000 square meters and had yet to be put out as of around 1 p.m., firefighters said, and three people suffered what were described as minor injuries and are being treated at a nearby hospital.

Nearly 80 firefighters and 20 vehicles were dispatched to the site, according to the Yunlin County Fire Department.

HDS is a catalytic chemical process widely used to remove sulfur from natural gas and from refined petroleum products.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. President Tsao Mihn (曹明) said the accident resulted from a glitch in a residue hydrodesulfurization (RDS) system that caused a seal leak, citing a preliminary investigation.

The company is currently assessing the impact the fire will have on production capacity, Tsao said.

Formosa Petrochemical is the FPG subsidiary that runs the Sixth Naphtha Cracking Plant Mailiao Industrial Complex.

Photo courtesy of Yunlin County Fire Department
Photo courtesy of Yunlin County Fire Department