17 May 2013 23:22 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Chile’s Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP) has inaugurated an alkylation unit at its 100,000 bbl/day Aconcagua refinery in central Chile, the state-run oil company said on Friday.
The $267m (€208m) unit, built by Spanish engineering firm Tecnicas Reunidas, has a production capacity of 1,070 cubic metres/day of alkylate, a component used in the production of high-octane gasolines, ENAP said.
The unit will increase ENAP’s total gasoline output from 270m cubic metres/month to 305m cubic metres/month, the company said.
The increased capacity will allow the company to supply 100% of the country’s demand for gasoline, ENAP said.
“This new plant will reduce costs and improve margins,” said ENAP general manager Ricardo Cruzat. “Production of high-octane gasolines with greater value will contribute to the economic viability of the refinery and the company.”
The unit will produce gasoline with a sulphur content of 15 parts per million (PPM) – the cleanest in the region, according to ENAP.
“Gasoline with a lower sulphur content reduces emissions and improves quality of life,” said Cruzat. “It also optimises the use of catalytic converters and reduces automobile maintenance costs.”
ENAP operates three refineries in Chile – Aconcagua, Bio Bio and Gregorio.
Earlier this month, the company posted a first-quarter net income of $52m compared with a loss of $110m in the same quarter last year, driven in part by an increase in the gross margin of the company’s refining sector.
($1 = €0.78)
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