Neste’s Porvoo refinery at reduced rates

Unplanned maintenance as a result of equipment failure has reduced crude throughput rates at Neste Corp.’s 10.5 million-tonne/year Porvoo refinery in the Kilpilahti Industrial Area, about 20 miles east of Helsinki, Finland.

Porvoo will run at a utilization rate of about 70% through mid-January following a malfunction in one of refinery’s cooling systems, Neste said.

The malfunction, which occurred in an air cooler installed earlier this year during the plant’s largest turnaround in history (OGJ Online, June 16, 2015), began negatively impacting utilization rates in November.

The extent and scope of maintenance activities required to repair the failed equipment were not disclosed.

With output at the refinery to remain hampered for more than month as a result of the equipment breakdown, Neste estimates a production loss of a several tens of millions of euros, a significant share of which will be reflected in the company’s results for the fourth quarter.

Due to high refining margins early in the fourth quarter, however, currently lower utilization rates will impact the previously issued outlook for 2015, Neste said.

Neste is continuing to proceed with its €500-million investment plan to improve the competitiveness of its overall refining operations by integrating its 3 million-tpy Naantali refinery with the 9.8 million-tpy Porvoo refinery so that the sites will operate as a single Finnish refining system (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2015; Aug. 5, 2015; Oct. 7, 2014).

The refining consolidation program is scheduled to be completed and the new Naantali-Porvoo operating model fully commissioned by mid-2017.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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