BP invests more at Lavera, France, refinery-petrochem site

BP PLC said investments at its Lavera refining-petrochemical site on the French Riviera would make it one of its star sites. Integrating the refining and petrochemicals businesses on the site is also a long-range goal.


By an OGJ Online Correspondent

PARIS, Mar. 30�BP PLC said investments at its Lavera refining-petrochemical site on the French Riviera will make it one of its "star sites," the other two being Grangemouth in the UK and Texas City, Tex.

BP said the goal was to make the site strategically attractive and competitive, improve its reliability, and make it as environmentally clean as possible.

Integrating the refining and petrochemicals businesses on the site is also a long-range goal. The process has begun with implementation in January of a single technical and accounting management and a pooling of services.

Michel de Fabiani, chairman and CEO of BP France, said synergies between chemicals and the refinery "are obvious" in terms of products, services, and policies. The refinery is rated at 210,000 b/d.

Large investments are taking place for maintenance as well as modernization of both the refining and petrochemical units. BP recently spent 840 million francs on refining and chemicals improvements. A cracker is getting a debottlenecking from 235,000 tonnes/year to 270,000 and an amines unit from 30,000 tonnes/year to 50,000. The refinery's sulfur furnace is being modified to reduce emissions.

All petrochemicals and refinery units should be again on stream by late May.

BP plans to create a southern refinery hub with its refinery in Castellon, Spain, similar to its northern Europe hub, for product exchanges.

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