30 April 2013 23:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refiner Valero had issues with its new hydrocracker at its Port Arthur refinery in Texas, which limited earnings, while the St Charles refinery in Louisiana should have its hydrocracker up by June, a company executive said on Tuesday.
Valero said the Port Arthur hydrocracker contributed approxmiately $94m (€71m) of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The unit was estimated to have contributed an additional $22m of EBITDA if there were no operating issues, the company said.
The unit had issues that limited the throughput in late February and early March.
“Those issues were addressed and unit has been running near planned rates since mid-March,” said Ashley Smith, Valero’s vice president of Investor Relations. “We are continuing to work on the new hydrocracker at our St Charles refinery. We expect to complete that unit and began the start-up process at the end of June.”
The hydrocrackers, which makes distillates and gasoline, were built to take advantage of higher crude prices, strong diesel margins and cheap natural gas options, according to Valero.
($1 = €0.76)
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