Philadelphia Refinery Said to Begin Turnaround After Outage

Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ Philadelphia refinery will begin a turnaround today that was scheduled for February, after an unplanned outage shut units, according to a person familiar with operations at the site.

The maintenance includes 38 days of work on the No. 868 fluid catalytic cracker at the Point Breeze section of the plant, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Other 860-series units, including an alkylation unit and distillate hydrotreater, will also shut as part of the planned work, according to the person.

Crews will remove the No. 210 crude unit from service for 28 days of work that will boost the plant’s ability to process Bakken oil, said the person. Bakken oil is a light crude originating from North Dakota shale formations.

The work was set to begin next week and was moved forward because of the unplanned outage, according to the person.

The refinery is trying to restart units at the larger Girard Point section. That plant lost steam to power its units earlier today when its three boilers shut down, a second person familiar with the situation said, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public. The refinery was able to restart a boiler and has been attempting to start units with the one boiler in operation, the person said.

Units Shut

A 200,000-barrel-a-day crude distillation unit and associated vacuum distillation unit shut at Girard Point around 2:57 a.m. today, according to Genscape Inc. Shortly after that, an 85,000-barrel-a-day CDU and 50,000-barrel-a-day FCC at Point Breeze also closed.

Gasoline futures for February delivery rose 3.31 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.6609 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for next-month delivery gained 5.98 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $3.1816 a gallon.

The Philadelphia refinery plans to increase crude-by-rail capacity by bringing in more than three trains of oil per day after the first half of the year, Philip Rinaldi, the company’s chief executive officer, said by phone from Philadelphia on Jan. 16. The plant currently receives about two trains a day, which each carry about 80,000 barrels.

Cherice Corley, a company spokeswoman, declined by e-mail to comment on day-to-day operations.

“We shut down and start up equipment all the time for a variety of reasons, including planned maintenance, unplanned maintenance or market conditions,” Corley said.

The 355,0000-barrel-a-day Philadelphia refinery has two sections, the Girard Point and Point Breeze plants. Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the refinery’s operator, is a joint venture of Carlyle Group LP and Sunoco Inc., which was acquired by Energy Transfer Partners LP in October 2012.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.