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Motiva plans CDU work in 2016.

Motiva Enterprises has begun planning to carry out the overhaul of the second largest crude distillation unit (CDU) at the 600,250 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery in January 2016 instead of July of this year, sources familiar with the company's plans said.

This is the fourth time the overhaul of the 195,000 bpd CDU, called VPS-4, and multiple associated units has been rescheduled since it was originally planned to take place in February 2014. Motiva's Port Arthur refinery is the country's largest.

Motiva has begun planning the overhaul for January of next year because that is when enough contract workers are expected to be available for the overhaul, the sources said. Motiva executives have not signed off on the January date, but the planning is going forward with that timeframe.

A Motiva representative was not immediately available to discuss plans for the Port Arthur refinery. Motiva had looked at moving the project, which includes VPS-4, the 54,000 bpd coker and the 49,000 bpd catalytic reformer and at least six other units from July to the late fall of this year, before targeting January, according to the sources.

The project was rescheduled once in 2014 and then to 2015 when two separate reviews by Motiva found the refinery was not ready to carry out a major overhaul, in part due a shortage of contract workers.

Motiva had blocked out from March to late June of this year for the overhaul on VPS-4 and associated units after completion of a planned overhaul of the refinery's 92,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), which finished in late March.

The VPS-4 overhaul was pushed back to July because of the strike from February 21 to March 17 by hourly employees represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW) at the refinery. The strike had delayed planning and preparatory work by a month.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Apr 20, 2015
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