Hovensa plans partial shutdown of St. Croix refinery

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 26
-- Hovensa LLC reported plans to shut down certain processing units on the west side of its 500,000-b/cd refinery at St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The shutdown will reduce the facility’s crude distillation capacity to 350,000 b/cd, with no impact on the capacity of its coker or fluid catalytic cracking unit, the company said.

The reconfiguration will be completed in this year’s first quarter, Hovensa said.

The company also is in the process of determining its workforce needs going forward, it said. In the interim, the company reported, it “has placed an immediate hold on filling most open positions and cancelled the 2011 turnarounds previously scheduled for west side units that will be shut down.”

Hovensa Interim Chief Operating Officer John W. George said, “Simplifying our operation by eliminating some older, smaller process units is expected to result in improved efficiency, reliability, and competitiveness. This is an important step toward improving our performance at a time when Hovensa and the refining industry are facing difficult economic conditions.”

Hovensa is jointly owned by Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

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