Petroecuador restarts Esmeraldas refinery

Ecuador’s state-owned Petroecuador has resumed operations at two processing units of its 110,000-b/d Esmeraldas refinery on the Pacific Coast following a late-November 2013 fire at the plant, the company confirmed.

Crude Unit 1 and Vacuum Unit 1 restarted on Dec. 29, according to a Jan. 10 release.

Currently, Crude Unit 1—which processes heavy crude oil into to obtain naphtha, diesel, and jet fuel—is operating at about 44,550 b/d, or 90%, of its regular capacity, while Vacuum Unit 1 already has returned to 100% of its processing capacity, the company said.

Both units were repaired and restarted 15 days ahead of the original maintenance schedule, which was slated to last from Nov. 30, 2013, through Jan. 13, 2014, according to Petroecuador.

Petroleum product supplies to domestic customers were not interrupted during the maintenance repair shutdown, the company said.

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