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Motiva Convent refinery shelves gasoline unit overhaul -sources

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By Erwin Seba: Friday, 1 July 2016

HOUSTON, July 1 (Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises’ Convent, Louisiana refinery has shelved plans for a gasoline unit overhaul in October despite a six-to-nine-month delay in a planned revamp of the refinery, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans on Friday.

Earlier this year, Motiva began planning the October overhaul of the 92,000 barrel per day (bpd) fluidic catalytic cracking unit at the 235,000 bpd Convent refinery.

Instead, the FCCU will remain in operation until at least June 2017 when it will be permanently closed, said the two sources who were not authorized to speak to the media about the matter.

The refinery’s sulfur recovery units are to be overhauled in October and two hydrotreaters will be reconfigured in November, the sources said. The heavy oil hydrocracker is scheduled for a revamp in February.

If all goes as planned, the refinery will be reconfigured to operate without the FCCU by June 2017 when the Convent refinery is to be linked by pipeline with the 237,700 bpd Norco refinery. Motiva announced plans in March 2015 to combine the two after the Convent revamp is complete.

But, if the Convent refinery FCCU breaks down before its decommissioning date, the refinery may have to undertake repairs to the unit, the sources said. The cost of the fall overhaul had been estimated by Motiva at $75 million.

“Whether they repair the cat cracker depends on if the conversions are complete,” one of the sources said.

The 36,000 bpd Hydrotreating Unit-2 and the 30,000 bpd Hydrotreating Unit-3 are to be converted to produce low-sulfur vacuum gas oil in a project to begin Nov. 1, according to the sources. HTU-2 removes sulfur from gasoline and diesel, while HTU-3 processes distillates.

The low sulfur gas oil from the converted units will be sent to the Norco refinery to run in its 112,000 bpd cat cracker, one of the goals of the combination plan announced last year.

The refinery’s five sulfur recovery units, collectively called the sulfur block, are to be overhauled in October prior to the work on the two HTUs. The SRUs collect sulfur extracted by the HTUs.

The refinery’s 45,000 bpd heavy oil hydrocracker, called the H-Oil Unit, is scheduled to be shut on Feb. 1 for a planned revamp to be able to run purchased heavy aromatic feeds.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Richard Chang and James Dalgleish)

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