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VZ PDVSA Cardon FCC down…again+Expan 2008

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    Charles Randall
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    Venezuela Cardon Refinery’s Catalytic Cracker Unit Down

    Sept. 30, 2008 CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- Venezuela’s Cardon refinery, one of the largest in the country, has taken down its catalytic cracker unit as part of a planned expansion, a plant official said Tuesday.
    Refinery officials took down the unit two weeks ago, and it will likely remain down until January or February, the time needed to complete an expansion meant to increase the refinery’s gasoline processing capability, said the official who declined to be named. As part of the process, several new pieces of equipment have already been brought in, the source added.
    Officials from Petroleos de Venezuela SA, PdVSA, could not immediately be reached for comment.
    As part of the work, the 305,000-barrel-a-day refinery, will see a slight decrease in runs, but it was unclear how much of a decline that would mean. Cardon’s catalytic cracker unit can process roughly 88,000 barrels a day. The official insisted any decline will be made up by other Venezuelan refineries, particularly the 640,000-barrel-a-day Amuay refinery, one of the largest in the world.
    PdVSA had announced a Cardon expansion for late 2008 in its 2007 year-end report. As stated, the plan seeks to “increase the capacity of the catalytic cracker from 11,500 to 12,800 tons a day, and adjust products to (meet) new environmental standards,” the report said.
    -By Raul Gallegos, Dow Jones Newswires; +58-212-905-6338; raul.gallegos@ dowjones.com (END) Dow Jones Newswires

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