US Valero to suspend operations at Aruba refinery

19 March 2012 14:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Valero Energy Corporation is suspending operations at its 235,000 barrel/day refinery in Aruba by the end of the month because of an unfavourable economic outlook in refining, the US refiner said on Monday.

The company said the refinery has been operating at reduced rates because of inadequate margins resulting in financial losses.

“Over the past two years, Valero evaluated all alternatives for the refinery and is now considering the possibility of operating a terminal and storage operation at the site,” it said.

Valero added that it will maintain the refinery in a state that would allow a restart in the immediate future.

In November 2011 the firm said it had been looking for a partner at the refinery to allow the processing of very heavy crude oil, which is cheaper than lighter oils and can be handled at the Aruba facility.

The Aruban government stepped in and has been seeking a suitable solution for the refinery since December 2011, according to reports.

"We appreciate the diligent and incredible efforts of [Aruban] Prime Minister [Mike] Eman and his government in helping Valero find an economic alternative that would allow continued operation of the refinery," said Valero Chairman and CEO Bill Klesse.

"If it had not been for the efforts of the prime minister, the refinery would not have restarted in late 2010 and operated over the past 15 months. Our discussions with interested parties, including those facilitated by the Government of Aruba, will continue," he added.

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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