Chevron sheds stake in New Zealand refinery

Chevron New Zealand has inked a deal to sell its interest in New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. (NZRC), which operates the 107,000-b/d Marsden Point refinery at Northland on the North Island’s east coast.

Chevron entered into a block trade agreement on May 27 with Deutsche Craigs Ltd., under which the investment advisory and management firm procured the sale of Chevron’s entire 35.5 million shares, or 11.37% ownership interest, in the refinery to institutional investors at just over $2.30 (NZ)/share, Deutsche Craigs and NZRC said.

The sale, which was completed on May 28, will not affect NZRC’s long-standing crude oil processing arrangement with Chevron, says NZRC.

Prior to the divestment, Chevron retained the fourth largest ownership interest in the refinery after other major shareholders BP New Zealand Holdings Ltd. 21.19%, Mobil Oil NZ Ltd. 17.2%, and Z Energy Ltd. 15.36%.

Expansion plans

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 (OGJ Online, June 26, 2014), NZRC said in its most recent annual report.

The TMH project, approved in February 2012 and initially named the Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR) 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.

On May 29, the company confirmed it completed a scheduled 3-week shutdown of the refinery for planned maintenance and catalyst regeneration at a crude distillation unit and platformer.

The planned shutdown, which began on May 2, will be the last planned maintenance closure on the refinery’s platformer before it is replaced by the CCR unit, which is due to be up and running when the TMH project is completed in early to mid-November, according to Peter Gubb, refining manager at Marsden Point.

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