Venezuela PDVSA restarts Amuay refinery unit after explosion

13 September 2012 23:58  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will restart on Thursday the catalytic unit at the company’s Amuay refinery, almost three weeks after a deadly explosion ripped through the refinery and halted operations, the state-run oil company said.

The refinery was currently processing 330,000 bbl/day, or 51% of its full processing capacity, PDVSA head Rafael Ramirez told reporters.

Four of the refinery’s five atmospheric distillation units were up and running, and the flexicoker had been restarted, Ramirez said.

“We are working hard to get the refinery back to 100% capacity, although we are in no hurry,” said Ramirez. “Domestic supplies were not affected by the explosion.”

The explosion and fire at the 645,000 bbl/day refinery on 25 August killed 42 people and injured 150.

The subsequent blaze took fire fighters four days to extinguish.

According to the Venezuelan government, a gas leak was suspected to have led to the accident.

“Investigations into the exact causes of the accident are 75% complete,” Ramirez said.


By: Simon West
713-525-2653



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