Officials with the Valero Aruba Refinery announced today that maintenance would soon begin at the refinery with the aim of potentially restarting the refinery later this year, unless economic conditions deteriorate.
The refinery was temporarily shut down for economic reasons in July 2009. Since that time, employees have remained on the payrolls while Valero (VLO) has considered its strategic options for the refinery. Those considerations will continue, but economic conditions have improved to the point where restarting and operating the refinery is possible.
In addition, the tax settlement agreement recently approved by the Aruba Parliament has provided Valero the visibility on future taxes so that it could make the decision to restart the refinery.
“We appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister Mike Eman and Finance Minister Mike de Meza toward negotiating the tax settlement agreement and its approval by Parliament,” said Kim Bowers, Valero’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “We also appreciate the patience and flexibility of our employees and the Aruban people during the shutdown period.”
The refinery-wide maintenance, called a “turnaround,” will commence in the next few weeks and will involve projects to prepare all of the refinery’s production units for restart. The turnaround is expected to last approximately 90 days.