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Neste completes Naantali revamp to slash heavy fuel oil production

Company estimates that it will be able to achieve an additional margin of at least $5.5 per barrel.



Neste building sign. Image credit: Neste


Updated on 26 Oct 2017 11:24 GMT

Neste says the two-month revamp of its refinery in Naantali, western Finland, was completed according to schedule in October.

The upgrade, which means the company will be producing less heavy fuel oil and "more valuable products", completes the plan first introduced in 2014 to implement closer integration of the operations of Neste's two Finnish refineries. The firm's Finnish refinery operations consist of four production lines at the Porvoo refinery, and one in Naantali.

Neste estimates that with the refinery investments completed, it will be able to achieve an additional margin of at least $5.5 per barrel.

Moving forwards, the Naantali production line will produce gasoline, diesel oil and special products, including solvents and bitumen. Naantali also produces feedstocks such as vacuum gas oil for the Porvoo refinery's production lines. Naantali's terminal capacity will be used to distribute products produced in Porvoo and Naantali.

Planned major turnarounds are significant projects for the maintenance of the refinery's competitiveness, safety and reliability, and they are carried out every four to five years. Furthermore, statutory pressure equipment inspections and maintenance require scheduled shutdowns. The previous major turnaround at Naantali took place in 2012.

The revamp is the most extensive ever carried out at the Naantali refinery. The total cost has been estimated at around EUR 90 million. The sum consists of investments related to the turnaround, maintenance investments, and the value of lost production.

The Naantali plant is located near to the west coast bunkering ports of Turku, Pori and Rauma, where Neste supplies 0.1% MDO DMB and ultra-low-sulphur (ULS) MGO DMA - meeting the requirements set out in the EU Sulphur Directive for ships operating in the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel.

New RMG-type fuel: Porvoo SDA unit

The east coast Porvoo refinery is located around 60 kilometres from the bunkering port of Helsinki. Back in August, Neste said it expected the new solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit at Porvoo to reach "high capacity utilization" during the second half of the year.

The SDA unit will enable the firm to produce a new "RMG-type" fuel with a sulphur content of less than 0.1 percent and a significantly higher viscosity than the products it currently sells.

Neste expects to launch the new bunker product towards the end of 2017.

Performance and results

In its financial report for the third quarter (Q3), released on Thursday, Neste said the Naantali unit recorded an average utilization rate of 36 percent (down from last year's figure of 63 percent), mainly as a result of the major two-month turnaround.

Despite the revamp, the company says it was able to attain an additional refining margin of $4.8 per barrel.

The Porvoo refinery, meanwhile, operated at a 97 percent utilization rate in Q3 - up from 92 percent in Q3 2016.

Neste said it expected the Porvoo refinery to run at a high utilization rate this year, except for a scheduled four-week decoking maintenance at the Production Line 4 during Q4.

In its overall results for Q3, Neste posted a year-on-year (YoY) net profit increase of EUR 15 million, or 5.9 percent, to EUR 268 million.

Revenue during the three-month period was up EUR 195 million, or 6.4 percent, to EUR 3,229 million.






Related Links:

Neste's new high-viscosity 0.1% marine fuel unit set to reach 'high' utilization in H2
Neste staff cancel plans to suspend fuel deliveries in Porvoo and Naantali
Neste sets out Baltic strategy following record year
Neste starts ex-pipe delivery of 0.1% bunker fuel in Sweden
Neste renames Oil Retail business, Oil Products unaffected
Neste Oyj
Naantali
Finland

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