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Shell Plans Major Work at Its Largest German Oil-Processing Complex

Shell is planning extensive work and a turnaround at the Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland near Cologne, Germany’s biggest oil-refining complex, in the autumn of 2024, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting sources with knowledge of the plans.

The turnaround means that the crude processing unit would be offline for at least a few weeks and supply to the market from the refinery would be reduced.  

The Godorf section of the Rheinland complex will undergo a turnaround in the autumn, while Wesseling, the other part of the refinery park, could also see some work done, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

The crude processing unit at Godorf last underwent an extensive turnaround in the autumn of 2019.

Early this year, Shell said that it plans to convert its oil refinery at the Wesseling site into a production unit for base oils.

Shell Deutschland GmbH has taken a final investment decision (FID) to turn the Wesseling site at the Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland into a manufacturing facility for Group III base oils, used in making high-quality lubricants such as engine and transmission oils, the supermajor said in January.

Under Shell’s plan, crude oil processing will end at the Wesseling site by 2025 but will continue at the Godorf site.

Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland is comprised of the Wesseling and Godorf sites. The park currently has the capacity to process over 17 million tons of crude oil a year, of which 7.5 million tons are processed at the Wesseling site. 

The Wesseling base oil plant is expected to start operations in the second half of this decade. It will have a production capacity of around 300,000 tons per year, which would be equal to around 9% of current EU demand and 40% of Germany’s demand for base oils.

Over the past few years, Shell has divested several refineries globally, including the sale of the Martinez Refinery in California to PBF Holding Company, and the sale of its 50% stake in the 340,000-barrels-per-day Deer Park Refinery in Texas to its joint venture partner Pemex.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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