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Marathon Petroleum halts projects at St. Paul Park refinery until next year

July 10/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp is delaying all maintenance projects at its 102,000 barrel-per-day St. Paul Park, Minnesota, refinery for 2020, reported Reuters with reference to a source familiar with the matter, amid concerns related to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Several refiners have delayed planned maintenance at their plants this year due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus among workers, or as part of capital and operational expense cuts.

Contractors that work on a wide range of projects for the refinery were told they would not resume until next year, according to the source. Planned work included maintenance on a crude unit in September, according to Industrial Info Resources (IIR), which tracks refinery work and interruptions.

Marathon declined to comment.

Depending on the size of a project, refinery maintenance can require thousands of contract workers working for several weeks or months to carry out upgrades and maintenance at a plant.

Social distancing guidelines can be difficult to abide by while conducting such work, according to refiners.

The St. Paul Park refinery is operating at lower rates amid reduced demand for refined products resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, according to IIR.

Marathon Petroleum said in May that it would cut capital spending by approximately 30% and expected operating costs to be lower by USD950 million.

Net loss attributable to Marathon was USD9.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, as it booked USD12.4 billion in charges related to inventory writedowns and goodwill impairment.

As MRC wrote previously, Marathon Petroleum Corp idled its 166,000 barrel-per-day (bpd)refinery in Martinez, California beginning April 27 in response to the coronavirus pandemics hit to demand for refined products.

Meanwhile, Marathon Petroleum Corp plans to operate the gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) at its 585,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas. The 140,000 bpd FCC restarted on Sunday, 12 April, after repairs following a March 23 brief power outage that shut the unit.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, petrochemistry, Marathon, Rossiya, USA.
Category:General News
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