Alon Big Spring Oil Refinery Said to Plan Unit Shutdowns in May

Alon USA Energy Inc. is scheduled to shut the crude unit and a fluid catalytic cracker at the Big Spring oil refinery in Texas in early May for planned repairs, a person familiar with the schedule said.

Modifications to the crude unit are expected to take about a month, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The fluid catalytic cracker will shut during the crude unit work for planned repairs, the person said.

Blake Lewis, principal of Dallas-based Lewis Public Relations and an external spokesman for Alon, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment. The company said in a statement Jan. 27 that maintenance had been delayed to the second quarter from the first quarter to “better integrate” a crude unit project.

The crude unit upgrades will increase the plant’s ability to run lighter crudes from domestic shale plays and boost the refinery’s distillate output by about 2,000 barrels a day, according to the statement. The company estimated that the refinery would run at 73,000 barrels a day in the first quarter because of the delay, up from its initial forecast of 55,000.

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