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St. Croix oil worker has virus, upends refinery restart plan

March 25/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The summer startup of a major oil refinery in the Caribbean is no longer assured after a construction employee tested positive for the coronavirus, reported Reuters with reference to the head of Limetree Bay Refining's statement Monday.

Once the worlds largest refinery, the Limetree Bay Refinery on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is undergoing a USD2 billion overhaul expected to finish this summer. Its former owners had shuttered the plant in 2012, and the facility was acquired by Arclight Capital Partners and Freepoint Commodities four years later.

The worker who took ill was part of a team of 3,000 people involved in an overhaul that aims to refurbish and restart a portion of the Caribbean islands former Hovensa refinery. About 1,400 construction workers live onsite at the St. Croix plant, which also has a nearby 34-million-barrel oil storage terminal.

"Im not going to predict a start date under these circumstances," Brian Lever, chief executive of Limetree Bay Ventures, told Reuters in an interview. "Weve seen in other situations that this starts off slow and accelerates quite quickly."

The company recently was aiming for a June or July start of commercial processing operations after a new delay caused by greater-than-expected corrosion discovered during the overhaul.

As MRC informed before, an employee at Valero Energy Corps Meraux, Louisiana, refinery also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 215,390 tonnes in the first month of 2020, up by 23% year on year. Shipments of all grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) increased due to higher capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 127,240 tonnes in January 2020, up by 33% year on year. ZapSibNeftekhim's homopolymer PP accounted for the main increase in shipments.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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