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Limetree Bay oil refinery begins producing transportation fuel

January 27/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, recently began producing transportation fuel, reported Reuters with reference to people familiar with the matter, clearing one of the hurdles that had disrupted a facility restart and jeopardized its crude supply contract.

Achieving full operation is required for Limetree Bay owners EIG Global Energy Partners and Arclight Capital Partners to retain a crude supply and product offtake contract with BP Plc. Full startup has been delayed a year and the project has run more than USD1 billion over budget.

BP is set to load ultra low sulfur diesel from the 210,000-barrel per day plant this week, according to two sources and vessel tracking data. Plant operations are stabilizing, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, after two fires in December.

Limetree Bay did not respond to a request for comment. BP declined to comment on Monday.

Limetree was given an undisclosed period to cure the plants problems after BP warned delays past mid-January would allow it to exercise a clause in its contract and exit the agreement to supply crude oil and market the resulting fuels.

The plant has been making semi-processed fuels including light-end distillate fuel oil and naphtha since restarting a crude unit in September. But it struggled to bring units online to make gasoline and diesel. It had been idled since 2012.

The refinery restart suffered repeated setbacks including high levels of corrosion in pipes and weaker-than-expected demand for IMO 2020-compliant transportation fuels, such as ultra low sulfur diesel, that the owners have sought to tap.

As MRC wrote before, in late October 2020, a technical defect disrupted production at part of BP's Gelsenkirchen integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Germany, early last week. The company operates plants in the Horst and Scholven districts at Gelsenkirchen, with the defect occurring at Horst. BP said then it was working to resume normal operations as soon as possible. It did not specify which unit has been affected, with sources suggesting it was the fluid catalytic cracker, but this was not confirmed by the company.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Germany, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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