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8th January: Refinery and petrochemical news update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The BP owned Kwinana refinery in Western Australia is being prepared for a major scheduled shutdown as part of a multimillion dollar maintenance program. This is the region’s only refinery and has a processing capacity of 137 000 bpd and employs nearly 400 people.

Saudi Arabia

It has been reported that a Saudi court has jailed five people for 30 years after uncovering an Al Qaeda plot to blow up a refinery. The plot was against the Yanbu facility and was part of a stint of alleged offences in the country between 2003 and 2006.

PetroRabigh exported the first shipment of petrochemical products from King Abdullah Port on Sunday 5th January. The port is located at King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and is the first export operation from the port. The cargo held 54 containers of polymer material that are destined for Singapore.


Lotte Chemical UK has told workers at the Wilton, UK petrochemical plant that they will learn the fate of their jobs in a couple of weeks. Approximately 70 jobs are thought to be under threat but the final redundancy figure has not been made known. The company is looking to close the T8 plant completely.


PBF Energy Inc. has reported that the Paulsboro refinery, New Jersey, experienced a loss of steam resulting in the unplanned shutdown of certain units. Refinery personnel are evaluating the outage and addressing the potential impacts to operations. All personnel have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. The refinery has also notified all the applicable agencies.

PBF Energy Inc. has also announced plans to shut a hydrocracker for planned maintenance at the Toledo refinery, Ohio. The 175 000 bpd facility will take its hydrocracker offline on 13th January. The work will include catalyst refreshing and compressor maintenance. The work on the 60 000 bpd unit is expected to take eight days and the unit is predicted to be operating as normal within 12 days. 

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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