Venezuela’s Largest Refinery Restarts After Blackout

Reuters, July 7, 2022

Venezuela's largest refinery restarted one of its five crude distillation units on Wednesday following a power outage last week that completely paralyzed the 645,000-barrel-per-day facility, two sources close to operations said.

Outages and unplanned maintenance programs are frequent at the OPEC-member's aging refining system, which in recent years has contributed to intermittent shortages of gasoline, diesel and cooking gas.

Amuay was the only refinery producing gasoline at the Paraguana Refinery Center (CRP) for Venezuela's western region as some operations at the neighboring Cardon refinery, including a key naphtha reformer, remain halted due to previous outages.

"The (distillation) plant number 1 is up aiming to process some 65,000 bpd of crude. The catalytic cracker is still out of service," one of the sources said.

When the blackout happened, two of Amuay's distillation units along with other more complex plants were operational, according to the sources.

State-run oil company PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amuay's workers expect to restart a second crude distillation unit in the coming days, two of the sources said.

(Reporting by Mircely Guanipa and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Marianna Parraga)

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