Neste brings forward scheduled maintenance at Porvoo refinery

A process upset at Neste Corp.’s 10.5 million-tonne/year Porvoo refinery in the Kilpilahti Industrial Area, about 20 miles east of Helsinki, Finland, has led the operator to advance planned maintenance activities on diesel production line 4 (PL4) ahead of its previously scheduled spring-2017 turnaround.

Operations on the line already have stopped, and preparations to begin maintenance activities are now under way, Neste said.

The decision to expedite the PL4’s 6-week turnaround followed a recent process disruption that led to catalyst coking in the production line, the company said.

Neste did not disclose details regarding either the precise nature of the disruption or the scope of work to be executed during the upcoming turnaround.

While the rescheduled maintenance will not impact diesel deliveries to customers, Neste said it does expect the turnaround to reduce its comparable EBIT by about €30 million, most of which will be booked during this year’s fourth quarter.

Consolidation program

Neste continues 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 Porvoo refinery so that the sites will operate as a single Finnish refining system (OGJ Online, Mar. 23, 2015; Oct. 7, 2014).

In June 2015, Neste completed a 2-month, €100-million planned maintenance turnaround at the Porvoo refinery, which alongside standard 5-year maintenance to ensure safe and reliable operations, also a series of projects related to the refinery’s future development, including startup of a 600,000-tpy isomerization unit (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2015; Feb. 25, 2014)

Construction also remains under way on a €200-million solvent deasphalting (SDA) feedstock pretreatment unit and asphaltene pelletizer in the area of PL4 at Porvoo, Neste said in its 2015 annual report.

Due for startup in 2017, the SDA unit will enable Porvoo to decrease its output of heavy fuel oil and increase the production of higher-quality fuels such as diesel, among others, by decreasing the content of asphaltenes present in crude feedstock processed at the refinery.

The company’s overall refining consolidation program is due to be completed and the new Naantali-Porvoo operating model fully commissioned by 2017.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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