New Zealand refinery advances expansion project

New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. (NZRC) said the expansion of its 107,000-b/d Marsden Point refinery at Northland on the North Island’s east coast remains on track.

Construction associated with the $365 million (NZ) Te Mahi Hou (TMH) expansion project at Marsden Point—New Zealand’s only refinery—continues to progress as planned, according to the latest company presentation.

Engineering design for the project has been completed, and reviews conducted in December 2013 confirm the project is on time and budget for targeted commissioning in December 2015, NZRC said.

Fabrication and delivery of key units to the refinery also are well advanced, according to the company.

In addition to the pouring of the concrete foundation in November 2013, a new reactor, compressors, and furnace already have been delivered to the refinery, NZRC Chairman David Jackson said.

NZRC also confirmed it raised $48 million (NZ) in capital funding on Feb. 28 in a placement of new shares, which will provide additional funding flexibility for the project.

The TMH project, approved in February 2012 and initially named the Continuous Catalyst Regeneration Platformer project, is designed to increase high-quality fuel production by replacing the refinery’s semiregeneration platformer and enabling it to process increased volumes of a wider range of crudes more effectively and efficiently, according to the company’s web site.

The company also said work is under way to improve yields from the refinery’s hydrocracker, which is scheduled for a maintenance shutdown beginning Mar. 14.

NZRC expects the expansion will increase the refinery’s production output by 3 million bbl/year.

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