MELBOURNE, Jan. 24 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC, refining specialist UOP LLC of Des Plains, Ill., and construction-design contractor WorleyParsons Services Pty. Ltd. have begun the $25 million (NZ) front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the expansion of New Zealand's sole refinery—Marsden Point at Northland on the North Island's east coast.
New Zealand Refining Co., which owns and operates the refinery, is embarking on a 3-year, $500 million expansion of the facility. If the FEED proves the project feasible, the Marsden Point facility could increase its intake by 20% from its current 100,000 b/d of crude oil.
Key aspects of the program include modification of an existing distillation unit to increase crude distillation capacity and the construction of new process units to increase total refinery output, particularly gasoline production.
Marsden Point currently produces 35 million tonnes/year of petroleum products. It supplies 90% of New Zealand's diesel demand and 60% of the country's gasoline. The balance of demand is imported from Australia and Singapore.