Lyondell Raises FCCU Production at Houston Refinery

Reuters, January 29, 2020

Lyondell Basell Industries raised production on the gasoline-producing unit at its 263,776-barrel-per-day (bpd) Houston refinery on Wednesday, Gulf Coast market sources said. Production on the 90,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) had been cut back since early last week because of problems with feedstock supply, the sources said.

Lyondell spokeswoman Chevalier Gray declined to comment.

The increase in FCCU production was slight, the sources said, inhibited by problems raising production on the 120,000-bpd Unit 536 crude distillation unit (CDU), which was cut back to minimum production levels again on Wednesday.

Both Unit 536 and the 147,000-bpd Unit 537 CDU have been operating below their capacities since early last week because of problems with crude oil clogging the desalter section of the CDUs, which break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstock for all other units, the sources said. Because the CDUs are cut back, the supply of gas oil feedstock that the FCCU converts into unfinished gasoline has been reduced, the sources said.

The desalter removes corrosive substances found in crude oil that if processed in the CDUs would damage them.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Cooney)

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