Run rates still recovering at Amuay refinery after 2012 blast, PDVSA says

Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) said crude oil throughput rates continue to recover at the Amuay portion of its Paraguana refining complex in northwest Venezuela following a deadly explosion and fire at the site’s Block 23 storage area in August 2012 (OGJ Online, Aug. 27, 2012; Aug. 28, 2012).

To date as of the month of August, current crude oil runs at the Amuay section have averaged 448,000 b/d of the refinery’s total nameplate capacity of 645,000 b/d, PDVSA said.

During the same period, crude throughputs at the Cardon refinery—which comprises the other half of the Paraguana complex—have averaged 254,000 b/d of its 310,000-b/d nameplate capacity for an overall throughput rate this month at the complex of 702,000 b/d, PDVSA said.

The company has advanced projects to continue improving crude throughputs at the complex, with a contract let as recently as January to Portuguese firm Cimontubo for the revamp of product storage areas at the Amuay refinery section (OGJ Online, Jan. 13, 2014).

Valued at $190 million, the contract includes the construction of eight storage tanks, an electric substation, a drainage system, and pipes and pumps associated with tank systems on Amuay’s Blocks 23 and 24.

Scheduled to begin during this year’s first quarter, the product storage reconstruction project is due to be completed in 2 years, PDVSA said.

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