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Petrobras to start refinery expansion works

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 -- Brazil’s Petroleo Brazileiro SA (Petrobras) and the Rio Grande do Norte state government signed the final contract for expansion works at the Refiniaria Potiguar Clara Camarao, aiming to boost its installed capacity and deploy a gasoline production unit.

Following the upgrade, the 30,000-b/d refinery, which already produces LPG, diesel fuel, and aviation kerosine, will also produce petrochemical naphtha and other products, along with enough gasoline to make Rio Grande do Norte self-sufficient.

After completion of the construction work, Refiniaria Potigar Clara Camarao also will have new loading facilities capable of mooring 50,000-gross-ton vessels, in addition to the new automotive gasoline production unit.

On completion of the upgrade, Rio Grande do Norte’s refinery will produce 21,000 cu m/month of gasoline, 45,000 cu m/month of diesel, 7,500 cu m/month of aviation kerosine, 11,700 cu m/month of LPG, and 3,000 cu m/month of chemical naphtha.

The Guamare industrial hub, where the Refinaria Potiguar Clara Camarao is located, has received $1.65 billion in investment so far. Petrobras said it is investing an additional $191 million for expansion of the refinery, bringing the total to just under $1.85 billion.

According to Petrobras, the Refiniaria Potiguar Clara Camarao is one of five refining units designed by the firm to increase its overall refining capacity by 1.2 million b/d by 2015.

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