TOKYO Nov 14 Japanese intergraded
chemicals maker Tosoh Corp said on Monday that it has
shut its three vinyl chloride monomer plants in western Japan as
a fire that started on Sunday in one of the facilities continued
A Tosoh spokesman said that a 52-year-old male employee was
presumed to have been killed, with fire breaking out after an
explosion at the firm's Nanyo complex in Yamaguchi prefecture.
He added that the fire was abating and that there had been
no other injuries.
Tosoh's Nanyo complex, home to the three vinyl chloride
monomer manufacturing plants, is capable of producing an annual
total of 1.2 million tonnes of the material used in making
plastic. That accounts for a third of the nation's total
capacity of 3.52 million tonnes per year.
Following the outbreak of the fire, oil refiner and ethylene
producer Idemitsu Kosan Co significantly lowered its
pipeline supply of ethylene to Tosoh from its Tokuyama plant, an
Idemitsu official said on Sunday.
Idemitsu will also reduce output at its 623,000 tonnes per
year naphtha cracker at the Tokuyama plant but will keep
supplying steady volumes to other customers, the official added.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)