LONDON Feb 6 The opening of a new oil product
storage facility on the site of the shuttered Coryton refinery
in eastern England has been delayed by "some months", its
operator said on Thursday, well beyond its planned startup by
the end of last year.
A joint venture of Shell, Greenergy and Vopak
bought the plant which shut down in June 2012, and
planned to open a storage facility called Thames Oilport to hold
oil products such as gasoline by the end of 2013.
A Thames Oilport spokesman said it had not anticipated the
extent of work needed at the plant which was forced into closure
after its owner the Swiss-based Petroplus went bankrupt.
"The quality of the existing assets was lower than expected
and we have had to replace much more than expected. The state of
the former refinery's assets has been the main cause of delay to
Oil traders are watching developments at the plant for clues
on when the storage facility may open, as prices are influenced
by products' supply and availability in different markets.
Thames Oilport did not specify when it would be opened.
"A significant part of the startup work is behind us, but a
lot of work still has to be done and that will be followed by a
period of rigorous testing and preparation that could take some
months," the spokesman said.
However, Thames Oilport said that it was looking at
expanding the original scale of the storage terminal.
"We now expect to open after a more extensive upgrade and
will do so with the capability of meeting a range of market
demands, including gasoline, diesel and bitumen, and with lower
maintenance and operating costs," the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Simon Falush, editing by David Evans)