January 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm #11596
Brazil fire-hit refinery to restart 8 Jan – regulator
06 Jan 2014 14:01 (-05:00 GMT)
Rio de Janeiro, 6 January (Argus) — Brazil’s 240,000 b/d Duque de Caixas refinery (Reduc) run by state-controlled Petrobras is expected to restart on 8 January, following a weekend fire at the facility’s coking unit, Brazilian oil regulator ANP said today.
The ANP said the fire will not affect local fuel supply. Both Petrobras and the ANP are investigating the cause of the blaze.
The fire at Reduc was confined to the coker and did not result in injury to workers or damage to the environment, Petrobras said earlier.
The Reduc fire is the latest in a string of incidents at Petrobras refineries in Brazil.
The oil workers union associated with the Reduc refinery (Sindipetro-Duque de Caxias) says gasoline and diesel production has been suspended as a result of the fire, which it blames on the overloading of the coker. It says Petrobras recently ordered processing to be increased by 20pc, from about 32,000 b/d to 38,000 b/d, in order to limit fuel imports.
Reduc, built in the 1960s and currently the fourth largest refinery in Brazil, accounts for around 10pc of Petrobras’ 2mn b/d refining capacity.
Limited capacity has pushed the company to rely on fuel imports to meet domestic demand, resulting in repeated downstream losses. Domestic refinery utilization remained above 95pc for most of 2013.
The union complains that operating Petrobras’ aging refineries at near full capacity poses a risk to workers, as demonstrated by the fire at Reduc and other recent accidents.
“The lack of investment in maintenance at refineries is reaching dangerous limits. Top management thinks only of new investments and ventures, forgetting the old refineries,” Sindipetro said.
Petrobras did not respond to the union’s comments.
Under its 2013-17 business plan, Petrobras earmarked $64.8bn for downstream projects currently being implemented or under evaluation. About half of that is earmarked for capacity expansions, with 15pc allocated for operational improvement.
The fire at Reduc marks the fourth refinery accident in a little over a month. Fires at the company’s 46,000 b/d Manaus refinery (Reman) and the 323,000 b/d Landulpho Alves refinery (Rlam), in December, both of which resulted in injuries to workers, occurred on the heels of a major fire at the Repar refinery.
The fire at 189,000 b/d Repar damaged equipment in the crude distillation unit (CDU) and resulted in an almost month-long shutdown at Repar. The refinery recently restarted operations.
Petrobras is currently building two new refineries, 230,000 b/d Abreu e Lima in Pernambuco state, and 165,000 b/d Comperj 1 in Rio de Janeiro state.
Blaze at Petrobras refinery under control
05 Jan 2014 19:43 (-05:00 GMT)
Rio de Janeiro, 5 January (Argus) — A fire Saturday night at Brazilian state-controlled Petrobras’ 240,000 b/d Duque de Caixas refinery (Reduc) in Rio de Janeiro state has interrupted operations at the refinery’s petroleum coke unit, the company said.
The fire, which is now under control, is confined to the coke production equipment and did not result in injury to workers or damage to the environment. The company is investigating the cause of the blaze.
Petrobras did not say whether the fire would disrupt crude processing at the refinery.
The fire at Reduc comes a little over a month after a fire damaged equipment in the crude distillation unit (CDU) at the company’s 189,000 b/d Repar refinery. That fire resulted in an almost month-long shutdown at Repar. The refinery recently restarted operations.
Petrobras has around 2mn b/d refining capacity, and has been operating at near full capacity throughout 2013. The company’s limited capacity has pushed the company to rely on costly fuel imports to meet rising domestic demand.
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