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RE: Yorktown sale completed/Refinery will not be restarted

Home Forums Coking News: DCU, Upgrader 1.Coker (registered users only) Another refiner sought for Yorktown Coking Refinery RE: Yorktown sale completed/Refinery will not be restarted


Charles Randall

Here is update on the Western sale of Yorktown Anode Coking refinery to All America P/L Co for $220 Million ($3140/BPD or ~20% replacement value). It looks like both the 70 MBD Refinery & 17 MBD coker are history. If plant is disassembled the coker could have life as Frankenstien-coker in Inida or elsewhere (similar to Shell’s NL coker in Argentina, Paramount’s coker in Wyoming, or Germany’s coker in India). This was Virginia’s ONLY refinery so -it disappears from the OGJ WW Refinery Survey this years 2012 tables & VA joins the other 39 states with little or no refining capacity.

The Yorktown Coker has been on list for lost anode coke production as either conversion to fuel or shutdown. The 55 year old (1956) BP Amoco Refinery/Coker is fairly young by US standards but Amoco put little capital investment in its refining assets. However the period between Giant $170 million purchase from BP (who had acquired from Amoco merger) in 2002 & $1.4 Billion Western-Giant merger in 2007 saw a potential for an expansion and coker upgrade but the debt load was more than Western could handle and had to go up for sale.

The Yorktown anode producer joins long list of lost worldwide calcinable coke suppliers from conversion or closure in the 2006-2011 coker cycle. The Hartford coker, Whiting coker, Chalmette (not permanent s/d yet), BP Toledo fuel conversion and few of US examples. Canadian Crude/Refinery & Coker expansions/Sales-closure are expected for COP Alliance, Husky Lima, MAP Robinson, HollyFrontier Tulsa and others are only awaiting end of Cushing Crude Glut/Arrival Canada PL Bitumen crude and minor debottlenecking or completed sales.

China also has lot of anode producers who are/have converted to fuel as imported heavy crude displaces domestic sweet crude. about 1/3 of my expected 32 lost calcinable/anode producers are China Anode cokers – but like US current/short term demand/crude pricing effects leave them as partial producers. And there are some who find that Fuel for China just means new anode blend source for Western calciners (but high freight cost and close differential to China imported fuel cost make it moot point lot cases).

The only bright spot comes from Argentina & Brazil coker addition/expansions but Aluminum producers are going need radically adjust merchant calciner coke spec’s. I think it is doubtful that all the MidEast calciners are going to find enough Kuwait & Saudi new petcoke production to fill thier calciners since new coking projects currently cutting capital investment cost still need costly resid desulfurizers to make Kuwait desulfurized resid anode blend coke quality.

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