Alon USA has delayed scheduled maintenance activity at its 70,000-b/d Big Spring, Tex., refinery until later in the year in an effort to cut costs as well as the time it will take to complete the project.
A planned turnaround at the refinery scheduled for this year’s first quarter has been postponed until the second quarter, Alon said.
The delay will allow the company to better integrate the implementation of a vacuum tower project with the turnaround, reducing both the down time required to complete the work and costs, according to Alon.
The vacuum tower project, primarily designed to increase the refinery’s ability to handle processing lighter shale crude oils, also will increase the plant’s distillate production by an estimated 2,000 b/d as well as improve energy efficiency, the company said.
As a result of the postponement, Alon expects first quarter-2014 throughput at Big Spring to average 73,000 b/d.
Following the planned turnaround, crude throughput at the Big Spring refinery is slated to expand beginning in the third quarter, Alon said in its January presentation to investors.