Motiva Restarts Multiple Units at Port Arthur Refinery

Reuters, November 10, 2022

The second largest crude distillation unit (CDU), a reformer and a lube oil hydrocracker completed restarting and were operating on Thursday at Motiva Enterprises 626,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas refinery, said people familiar with plant operations.

Motiva's 81,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) was operating normally on Thursday after a malfunction on Wednesday, the sources said.

The 200,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) VPS-4 CDU was shut on Sept. 30 for a planned overhaul and began restarting over the weekend, the sources said.

The 49,000-bpd catalytic reformer 4 (CRU-4) and the lube oil hydrocracker 4 (LHCU-4), were shut at the same time as VPS-4 and restarted along with it.

A sulfur recovery unit (SRU), also shut on Sept. 30, will restart in three weeks, the sources said. The SRU's overhaul was delayed by extra time it took to purge acid gas from the unit.

CDUs break down crude oil into feedstocks for all other units at the refinery. There are three CDUs at the Motiva refinery.

Reformers convert refining byproducts into reformate, which is added to unfinished gasoline to boost octane levels.

Hydrocrackers use hydrogen under high heat and pressure to convert feedstocks into more profitable products that also meet U.S. environmental standards.

SRUs recover sulfur from hydrogen sulfide extracted during the production of motor fuels that comply with U.S. environmental rules.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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