Another northeastern US refiner resumes operations after Sandy

01 November 2012 18:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--PBF Energy resumed normal capacity at its two northeastern US refineries after three days of reducing rates as a precaution to Hurricane Sandy, a government agency said on Thursday.

PBF returned to producing 182,000 bbl/day at its facility in Delaware City, Delaware, and 160,000 bbl/day at its site in Paulsboro, New Jersey, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said.

PBF was the second refiner to resume operations, among five major companies affected by the storm.

Monroe Energy began operating at normal capacity on Wednesday at its 185,000 bbl/day facility in Trainer, Pennsylvania, the DOE said.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions is still operating at reduced rates at its 335,000 bbl/day site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the DOE.

The refinery will run at reduced rates until waterborne crude deliveries resume, said the company, a joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Sunoco.

Phillips 66’s 238,000 bbl/day refinery in Linden, New Jersey, is still shut down, although power was restored on Wednesday, the company said on Thursday. Its three terminals in the New York and New Jersey regions are also closed.

The 70,000 bbl/day Hess refinery in Port Reading, New Jersey, also remains shut, the DOE said.

While most facilities are coming back on line following the fairly minimal impact from the hurricane, the chemical industry faces a greater challenge in restoring transportation to ship and deliver products, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said.

US polyethylene (PE) producer NOVA said it is collaborating with both rail suppliers and customers to reroute or free up rail cars that are embargoed or stuck in various places.

“Hurricane Sandy has thrown a real wild card now into what we can think about [demand], certainly for the next several weeks,” NOVA CEO Randy Woelfel said during a conference call on Thursday.

For maritime facilities, the captain of the port of New York authorised all operational facilities in the Upper Bay, North River (Hudson) and Easter River to Long Island Sound on Thursday, the DOE said.

However, the Arthur Kill, Kill Van Kull and Buttermilk Channel will remain closed to all vessel traffic, due to known hazardous conditions in the water.

The US Coast Guard has reopened all other port sectors affected by Hurricane Sandy.

On the electricity front, more than 4.6m customers were still without power as of 9:00 hours New York time (13:00 hours GMT), the DOE said.

Hurricane Sandy has killed at least 82 people in North America, according to media reports.

Early estimates of potential infrastructure damages were about $20bn (€15bn), and total economic losses could be $30bn-50bn.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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