Valero Port Arthur Said to Shut Hydrocracker as Long as Week

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery will keep a hydrocracker shut as long as a week for repairs, according to a person familiar with operations.

The hydrocracker, one of two at the plant, was halted while a pipe leak is repaired, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Valero reported on Jan. 28 that Hydrocracking Unit 942 was shut after a leak on a discharge line from a recycle gas compressor, according to an emissions notice yesterday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

A coker is running normally after its rates were cut Jan. 27, the person said. A Jan. 28 notice filed by Valero with the environmental agency said the 105,000-barrel-a-day unit’s rates were reduced to a minimum after an upset caused flaring.

Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero in San Antonio, could not immediately be reached for comment. Day said in an e-mail yesterday that he didn’t have an update on operations at Port Arthur.

Hydrocrackers convert heavy feedstocks into lighter fuels such as high-octane gasoline and diesel. Cokers convert heavy refinery streams, such as vacuum residual fuel, into lighter products, while reducing much of the feedstock to solid petroleum coke.

The Port Arthur refinery has a capacity of 310,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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