Exxon refinery restarts hydrocracker after CDU restart

ExxonMobil Corp. has begun restarting the hydrocracker at its 560,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Baytown, Texas, refinery, shortly after restarting a crude distillation unit (CDU), said sources familiar with plant operations.

The 135,000-bpd Pipestill 7 CDU was the first to restart since the Baytown refinery was shut on Feb. 15 by the effects of severe cold weather. The 25,000-bpd hydrocracker produces diesel and other motor fuels.

“Exxon Mobil continues to make progress restarting its Baytown operations,” said company spokesman Jeremy Eikenberry.

Pipestill 7 is the second largest of the refinery’s three CDUs, which break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units.

Hydrocrackers use a catalyst in the presence of hydrogen under high heat and pressure to convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels.

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