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Royal Dutch Shell plans to shut for a planned overhaul the 92,000-bpd gasoline producing unit at its refinery at Convent, Louisiana, for some six weeks starting in June, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting sources familiar with the refinery’s plans.
The gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at the 227,586-bpd Convent refinery, as well as the alkylation unit with 16,500 bpd capacity, are planned to be shut for an overhaul this summer, after Shell scrapped plans in November last year to permanently close the gasoline-producing unit at Convent.
Shell decided not to permanently close the gasoline unit in early 2018, opting instead to overhaul it to extend its production life for at least another four to five years, Shell spokesman Ray Fisher told Reuters at that time.
“Shell re-evaluated the cat cracker end-to-end economics and determined that the business case was strong to run the FCCU for another cycle,” Fisher said.
Initial plans were to permanently decommission the gasoline unit as part of a project to integrate the Convent plant with the 225,800-bpd refinery in Norco, Louisiana, through a network of pipelines.
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Shell became the sole owner of the Convent refinery in May 2017 after it completed the transaction for the separation of assets, liabilities, and businesses of Motiva Enterprises LLC with Saudi Aramco. Under that deal, Aramco got the biggest refinery in the U.S., Port Arthur in Texas, while Shell received the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana.
In the fall of 2017, the Convent refinery was offline for a week, after Shell had to shut it following a fire at a substation. A Shell-owned transformer exploded and caused an electrical fire at a substation near the Convent plant, and the fire caused a power interruption at the site. Shell initiated its emergency response plan, which included immediately deploying personnel to respond to the incident. There were no injuries associated with the incident, Shell said at the time.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.