Vertex Energy Inc., a specialty refiner and marketer of refined products, decreased its throughput rates in fourth-quarter 2023, citing deteriorating crack spreads.
Conventional throughput volumes at the company’s refining and petrochemical complex in Mobile, Ala., for the quarter are expected to come in at 67,000 b/d, lower than the 68,000-71,000 b/d forecasted. The reduction reflects a combined impact of a curtailment in throughput in light of deteriorating market conditions during the quarter as well as the previously disclosed downtime to replace an electrical transformer, the company said in a release Jan. 23.
The expected yield of finished conventional fuel products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel is expected to be 65-67%, in line with the previously forecasted range of 64-68%, reflecting the ongoing benefit of the yield optimization efforts introduced in second-quarter 2023, the company said (OGJ Online, Oct. 13, 2023).
Vertex's reported renewable diesel production for fourth-quarter 2023 is expected to be 3,900 b/d, just under the forecasted 4,000-6,000 b/d. The yield on renewable throughput volumes is expected to be 96%, slightly below the previously anticipated range of 97-98%.
So far in 2024, said Benjamin P. Cowart, president and chief executive officer of Vertex, the company is “observing an improvement in crack spreads, combined with increased margin efficiency, which has led us to opportunistically ramp our production rates for conventional fuels and renewable diesel, proactively aligning increased capacity utilization with evolving market conditions.”