Operational upset forces unit shutdown at Sardinian refinery

Italy’s Saras SPA, which operates a 300,000-b/d, high-conversion refinery in Sarroch, on the southwestern coast of Sardinia, has temporarily shuttered one of two units at the refinery’s catalytic reforming (CCR) plant following an operational upset in early December.

The necessary shutdown took place on Dec. 5 after an unidentified “failure” occurred at the unit, Saras said, without commenting further on the nature of the incident.

While Saras confirmed the upset did not result in any injuries or impacts to the environment, the company said it expects the unit to remain offline for about 15 days.

The extended shutdown likely will result in an overall economic impact of about €25 million stemming from reduced production of gasoline and gas oil, costs to repair the unit, as well as potential limitations to the company’s ability to achieve normalized levels of product inventories at yearend, the operator said.

Contrary to current capacity data posted to Saras’ web site, the Sarroch refinery’s CCR plant includes two units with a combined capacity of 50,000 b/d, the company said in a November presentation to investors.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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