New Zealand refinery enters planned maintenance

New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. (Refining NZ), the country’s sole refiner, has started the shutdown of selected units at its 107,000-b/d Marsden Point refinery at Northland in preparation for its previously announced April turnaround.

On Apr. 1, the company began shutting down units scheduled for work during the planned maintenance event, which officially begins on Apr. 5, Refining NZ said.

During the 4-week turnaround, maintenance teams will be replacing hydrocracker catalyst, decoking a furnace, conducting statutory inspections, and executing other projects, including unscheduled repairs resulting from the recent upset of the refinery’s hydrocracker (OGJ Online, Mar. 28, 2016), the company said.

The shutdown has been scheduled with the refinery’s customers to ensure ongoing availability of fuel products during the maintenance period, Refining NZ said.

On Mar. 24, Refining NZ informed investors that unidentified operational issues with the Marsden plant’s hydrocracker led to discovery of repairs that would be undertaken during the upcoming turnaround.

The company, which completed a series of upgrades in 2014 to improve the hydrocracker’s operational efficiency (OGJ Online, June 17, 2014), disclosed few details regarding the nature of current issues with the unit other than to confirm the March upset stemmed from a “recent trip” on the unit.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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