New Zealand refiner schedules unit maintenance

New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. (NZRC), the country’s sole refinery, will execute unplanned repairs to a hydrocracker at its 107,000-b/d Marsden Point refinery at Northland, on the North Island’s east coast, during a previously scheduled shutdown of the unit planned in April.

Recent operational issues with the hydrocracker have resulted in identification of “a modest amount of emergent repair[s]” that the company will undertake concurrently with the unit’s upcoming April maintenance shutdown, NZRC said in an investor notice.

The estimated negative impact of the unit’s outage on processing revenues during the March-April period will be $7-$8 million (NZ), the company said.

Confirmation of unscheduled maintenance on the unit follows NZRC’s Mar. 17 announcement that it planned to shut down the hydrocracker and related units to replace catalyst and perform maintenance work sometime in April.

At the time, the company warned the hydrocracker’s planned shutdown would negatively impact March-April revenues, as the refinery’s ability to upgrade low-cost feedstock into high-value products would be limited.

Further details regarding the nature of operational issues with the hydrocracker or a duration of the upcoming shutdown were not disclosed.

In 2014, NZRC completed a series of upgrades to improve efficiency at the refinery’s hydrocracking unit (OGJ Online, June 17, 2014).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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