By BARBARA POWELL
HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Motiva Enterprises
plans to shut the fluid catalytic cracker at its refinery in
Convent, Louisiana, by October 2016 because its
unprofitable to operate, a person familiar with operations
The refinerys crude units
dont produce as much feedstock, such as vacuum gasoil, as
the unit can process. Motiva found it too costly to purchase
additional feed, said the person, who asked not to be
identified because the information isnt public. A
catalytic cracker upgrades vacuum gasoil into gasoline and
Motiva may add other equipment, such as a third crude unit,
to boost its ability to make catalytic cracker feed. Its
more profitable for the company to make and sell feedstock to other refineries than
to process it at Convent, the person said.
The company is alternately considering adding a ROSE unit,
which can convert heavy residual fuel into feed for catalytic
crackers, the person said. Motiva is also weighing whether to
add a coker, another unit that breaks down residual fuel into
lighter products, to back up its hydrocracker when that unit is
shut for repairs, the person said.
Without a catalytic cracker, the Convent plant will focus
more on making diesel, the person said.
Destin Singleton, a spokeswoman for Motiva in Houston, said
in an e-mail seeking comment about these plans that she would
respond as soon as possible.
In addition to the catalytic cracker, the refinery has two crude units, the
hydrocracker, which converts heavy fuel oil into lighter fuels
like gasoline, and an H-Oil unit, or heavy-oil cracker. An
alkylation unit works in association with the catalytic cracker
to make high-octane gasoline blending components.
Convent receives crude primarily by pipeline and distributes
finished oil products by pipe, rail, truck and water to markets
along the Gulf Coast and in the southeastern United States, the
company said on its website.
The 255,000 bpd Convent plant is 80 km west of New Orleans.
Motiva operates a second plant in Louisiana, the 250,000 bpd
Norco refinery, about 21 km west of New
Motiva is a refining and marketing joint venture
of Saudi Refining, a subsidiary of Saudi
Arabian Oil, and Shell Oil, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell.