Total inaugurates 1m t/yr desulphuriser at Leuna, Germany, refinery

12 March 2010 15:35  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Total on Friday inaugurated a new 1m tonne/year desulphuriser at its refinery at Germany’s Leuna petrochemicals hub in Saxony-Anhalt state, the French energy and petrochemicals major said.

The €120m ($164m) investment would allow Total to produce low-sulphur heating oil and other fuels, in compliance with EU and German regulatory requirements, it said.

The desulphuriser was built and installed over 20 months, without disrupting operations at the 12m tonne/year refinery, the company said. The general engineering contractor was Technip.

The recovered sulphur would be supplied to regional chemical markets, officials said

Saxony-Anhalt’s economics minister Reiner Haseloff said the investment further strengthened the Leuna petrochemicals hub.

“This is a good day for chemical production at Leuna, and a clear commitment to the future of oil processing at the site,” he said, adding that there had been no government funding for the desulphuriser.

Last month, Total shut down the 660,000 tonne/year Mider Helm methanol plant at the refinery after an explosion. According to company sources, it was not likely to restart before mid-March.

Total media officials at Leuna and at the company's regional offices in Berlin could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

Total’s €2.6bn Leuna refinery started up in 1997 and employs a staff of 650. Its production includes 3.5m tonnes/year of diesel fuel, 2.5m tonnes/year of gasoline and 1.5m tonnes/year of heating oil.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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