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Sunoco Said to Restart Marcus Hook Refinery Catalytic Cracker

Sunoco Inc. repaired and restarted the fluid catalytic cracker at its Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania for the first time since a power loss on March 28, a person familiar with refinery operations said.

The gasoline-making unit is progressing toward planned rates, said the person, who declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak for the refinery.

The refinery’s other main processing units were idled until the catalytic cracker was running again.

Sunoco advised the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on April 5 that the refinery was unsuccessful in restarting the catalytic cracker that day because a plant flare needed to start the unit had gone out, according to Lynda Rebarchak, a spokeswoman for the agency. Rebarchak said in an e-mail today that she doesn’t expect that Sunoco will give her an update on the restart of the unit.

Thomas Golembeski, a company spokesman in Philadelphia, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The refinery has a capacity of 194,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The refinery supplies fuel to New York Harbor, the delivery point for gasoline and heating oil futures, and shutdowns at the plant can increase spot and futures prices.

Since the power failure, the discount to futures for immediate delivery regular gasoline in New York Harbor has narrowed to 8 cents from 16 cents on March 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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