Preem restarts units at Swedish refinery

Swedish refiner Preem Petroleum AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Corral Petroleum Holdings AB, Stockholm, has completed repairs to and restarted two units at its 210,000-b/d Lysekil, Sweden, refinery.

Both the hydrogen production unit (HPU) and isocracking unit at the refinery have resumed normal operations after a ruptured furnace tube in the HPU in March led to the shutdown of both units, Preem said.

A lack of hydrogen from the HPU unit to the isocracker forced the latter unit’s shutdown, resulting in reduced production of low-sulfur diesel from the refinery during the period of repair work, Preem said.

Inspection activities carried out during repairs to the ruptured furnace tube uncovered additional issues associated with the furnace requiring maintenance, which extended the units’ shutdown period by 3 weeks from Preem’s original expectation of for a second-half April restart, the company said.

During the repair shutdown, remaining production units at Lysekil maintained normal operations, with the refinery operating at 80-90% of its full capacity, according to March and April releases from Preem.

The company estimated a series of unscheduled shutdowns at Lysekil production units during first-quarter reduced operating income by about $61 million, Preem said in its annual report for 2013, released on Apr. 29.

In addition to the March shutdowns of the HPU and isocracker, the same HPU was shuttered for 2 weeks in February following an electric motor failure, while a leaking flange led in January led to a 5-day shutdown of the refinery’s vacuum distillation unit, according to the April report.

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