Mexico Pemex reopens Minatitlan refinery after $3.559bn overhaul

26 July 2011 22:34  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Mexico-based Pemex reopened its Lazaro Cardenas refinery in Minatitlan, Veracruz, on Tuesday, following a $3.559bn (€2.491bn) overhaul and reconfiguration, which expanded crude processing from 135,000 to a projected 246,000 bbl/day, the company said.

The details emerged ahead of President Felipe Calderon's speech at the plant to re-inaugurate the facility, which first opened in 1906 as the first large refinery in Latin America.

The 82% increase in crude processing will also focus on working with the cheaper, heavier oil that Pemex more commonly extracts and will include the creation of a new processing train dedicated to Maya-grade crude.

The company said it would be moving the ratio of heavy to light crude processing from 33% to 71%.

The facility is capable of producing gasoline, diesel, sulphur-free diesel, jet fuel, fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha, isobutene, sulphur, propylene, benzene, ethyl benzene and cyclohexane.

Among other projects, Pemex intends to ramp-up its hydrodesulphurisation capacity to produce more and cleaner fuels as well as to boost sulphur production to 600 tonnes/day.

The refinery will lower its production of fuel oil stating its “demand is dropping both in national and international markets”.

($1 = €0.70)

By: James Young

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