Process units at Refining NZ will begin shutting down for three weeks of planned maintenance starting Saturday 2 May.
The shutdown for regeneration of catalyst on the Platformer unit and other essential maintenance has required detailed planning and extra resources, including an additional 250 people on site, the majority from local contracting companies working at the refinery.
Refining Manager Peter Gubb said the planned maintenance on the Platformer was essential for the ongoing reliability and safety of the Marsden Point refinery.
“It gives us the opportunity to remove coke and other build-up from catalyst, which makes it less effective than it should be, while allowing the shutdown team to also carry out inspection, maintenance, and cleaning of related equipment (steam systems, electricity utilities, heat exchangers, and furnaces).
“The shutdown has been scheduled into product supply plans and agreements with the refinery’s oil company customers to ensure that product availability isn’t affected.
“This will be the last planned maintenance shutdown on the Platformer before it’s replaced by the CCR unit, expected to be up and running when the Te Mahi Hou project completes early to mid-November.”
Peter Gubb emphasized that the refinery is working to minimize the impact of the shutdown for local residents and has a dedicated Health, Safety and Environment plan to ensure the shutdown proceeds safely and without impacting the local community or the environment.
“The flaring that will be visible when we’re shutting down and starting up process units is a key safeguarding process that allows hydrocarbons to be vented when units are being de-pressurised,” he said.