UPDATE 1-Hovensa to cut St Croix plant rates as shuts units

Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:47pm GMT
 

 * Crude throughput to be reduced by 150,000 bpd
 * Heating oil and diesel markets to be impacted
 (Updates with quote, details)
 NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Hovensa LLC said on Wednesday
it will reduce its crude oil processing capacity at its 500,000
barrel-per-day St. Croix refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands by
150,000 bpd as it permanently closes older, less efficient
units by the end of the first quarter.
 Hovensa Interim Chief Operating Officer John W. George said
the move was an important step toward improving the refinery's
performance at a time when Hovensa and the refining industry
are facing difficult economic conditions.
 "Simplifying our operation by eliminating some older,
smaller process units is expected to result in improved
efficiency, reliability and competitiveness," George said in a
statement.
 The company said the refinery's gasoline-making fluid
catalytic cracker and coker will not be impacted by the
reconfiguration.
 New York Harbor cash products traders said that this move
will likely reduce the amount of distillates, including diesel
and heating oil, available in the market.
 Additionally, a supply reduction in gasoline blending
component reformate was expected.
 Since the refinery reconfiguration will not be complete
until the end of the first quarter, traders said there was
little to no immediate impact on the oil products markets.
 Hovensa is a joint venture between Hess Corp (HES.N: Quote) and
Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA.
 (Reporting by Jeffrey Kerr; Additional reporting by Naveen
Arul in Bangalore; Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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