UPDATE 1-Japan's JX shuts vacuum distillation unit after fire

Mon Aug 6, 2012 6:19am IST

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* Halted units related to lubricant oil production

* No impact to operations of 140,000 bpd CDU, other units

* No injuries, shipments normal - company official

TOKYO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Japan's top oil refiner, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, a unit of JX Holdings, said it shut the No.2 vacuum distillation unit at its 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) Mizushima-A refinery in western Japan on Sunday after the unit caught fire.

The fire started at 11:23 a.m. (0223 GMT) on Sunday and was extinguished by 6:57 p.m. (0957 GMT) the same day, the company said in a statement. The No.2 vacuum distillation unit has a capacity of 17,000 bpd, according to the company's web site. There were no injuries from the fire.

The unit makes basic feedstock for lubricant oil and the company shut units related to lubricant oil production after the fire, a company official said.

There was no impact to the operations of the refinery's sole 140,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) and other secondary units that make other oil products, he added.

The cause of the fire or the extent of damage to the fire-hit unit remained unclear pending an investigation, he said. The refinery's product shipments were halted temporarily after the fire, but had returned to normal, he said.

The company has two refineries in Mizushima. The second, the 240,200 bpd Mizushima-B refinery, has been shut completely since July 26 for safety checks after a revelation of inadequate record keeping.

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