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Marathon Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery shuts HCU, alky unit for work

June 01/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum Corp shut the hydrocracker (HCU) and alkylation unit at its 585,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, as part of a multi-unit overhaul that began on Saturday, said sources familiar with plant operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Marathon spokesman Sid Barth declined to comment. The 60,000-bpd hydrocracker, called Ultracracker 4, and 31,500-bpd alkylation unit were shut along with a sulfur recovery unit and a 47,500-bpd aromatics recovery unit, the sources said.

The first units shut were the 65,000-bpd Ultraformer, as the reformer is called, a 60,000-bpd residual oil hydrotreater and an aromatics unit, the sources said. The first shutdowns began on Saturday.

The overhaul is expected to be completed as early as mid-July but may extend through Aug. 1. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overhaul has twice been delayed from an initial start date scheduled in late March.

Hydrocrackers use a catalyst under high heat and pressure in the presence of hydrogen to produce diesel from gas oil along with other motor fuels. Alkylation units convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components added to gasoline.

Reformers also convert refining byproducts into components used to boost octane in gasoline through a different process from that in reformers. Hydrotreaters use hydrogen to reduce sulfur in motor fuels in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

As MRC informed before, a portion of Marathon Petroleum Corps 363,000 barrel-per-day Carson refinery in California was shut in late February 2020, following a fire.

We also remind that the gasoline-producing unit at Marathon Petroleum Corps 585,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, remained shut for six weeks for repairs in late Juney-early August 2019. The 140,000-bpd gasoline-producing Fluidic Catalytic Cracking Unit 3 (FCCU 3) was shut on June 29 2019 to repair a leak. The refinerys 65,000 bpd reformer, called Ultraformer 4, was also shut down.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, Marathon.
Category:General News
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