Sunoco permanently closes Eagle Point refinery on weak demand

01 February 2010 15:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Sunoco has permanently shut down its previously idled 145,000 bbl/day Eagle Point refinery in Westville, New Jersey, and is considering using the site as a centre for biofuels production, the US refiner said on Monday.

The shutdown resulted from continued weak demand for refined products and unfavourable market conditions, Sunoco said.

Processing units at Eagle Point were idled in early November, the company said, adding that storage and handling operations at the facility will continue.

“Given weak industry dynamics, we are confident we are taking the right actions to improve our overall competitiveness, set the stage for investing in our strong regional brand, explore opportunities in biofuels, and provide customers with a broader choice of transportation fuel options,” said Sunoco CEO Lynn Elsenhans.

Sunoco previously said it targeted the Eagle Point refinery for closure – and not its nearby refineries in Philadelphia and Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania – because it was not as directly linked to Sunoco’s retail network.

About 400 employees were furloughed as a result of the move.

The shutdown is not expected to have a material financial impact on the company’s earnings beyond what was previously recorded in 2009, Sunoco said.

Earlier on Monday, Sunoco also announced it was selling its polypropylene (PP) business for $350m (€252m) to Brazilian major Braskem.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Ben DuBose
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