Sinopec says more than 500 gas stations damaged by floods

BEIJING (Reuters) - Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, said on Monday that more than 500 of its gas stations have been damaged and some refinery equipment temporarily shut due to severe flooding across central and southern China in the past two weeks. More than 300 gas stations have been closed since mid-June, while more than 250 gas stations are not safe for use due to the floods, China Petroleum and Petrochemical Corp, or Sinopec, said, without putting a value on the losses. Sinopec's Wuhan refinery, in central China, closed some hydrogenation equipment and part of a crude refining unit on July 6 after some pipelines were inundated by water, it said, adding heavy rains and floods have posed severe production challenges at the petrochemicals firm. By July 7, the two units had resumed output. Sinopec said on July 8 that crude throughput would be lower this year compared with last year, adding that it faces pressure to maintain a profit margin in the third quarter. The flood, which has killed almost 130 people and wiped out acres of crops, also damaged some of the company's natural gas pipelines, crude oil pipelines and port facilities. Three oil storage facilities in eastern Anhui province were submerged in 1-metre-deep water. The three tanks resumed supply on July 7. (Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)