21 March 2013 19:43 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Petroleos de Venezuela's (PDVSA) Amuay refinery in western Venezuela has begun the start-up process of a flexicoker after completing maintenance begun in February, a source familiar with the refinery said on Thursday.
The maintenance comes after multiple production issues on the unit forced various shutdowns during 2012, including the worst refining accident in the country last August, the source familiar with operations said.
The explosion in August killed a reported 41 refinery workers and damaged large sections of the facility.
The flexicoker is used to produce light fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The plant is expected to be processing 60,000 barrels/day within 10 to 12 days, PDVSA said.
The refinery, which is part of the Paraguana Refining Complex in Falcon state, is the largest in the country.
Venezuela's refining circuit has reported several incidents in the past few years that have affected the production capacity of refined products and forced Venezuela to look for more product out of the US Gulf and Europe.
Amuay has a refining capacity of 645,000 bbls/day.
The Paraguana Refining Complex has the capacity to process 940,000 bbls/day. It includes the Amuay, Cardon and Bajo Grande refineries and produces about 66% of domestic fuel demand for Venezuela.
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