ATHENS Feb 13 Greece's biggest refiner Hellenic
Petroleum said late on Wednesday it was planning to
temporarily halt production at a flexicoker unit in its Elefsina
refinery to repair a technical glitch.
"The company has ... prepared all required actions to set up
a shutdown of the unit," Hellenic said in a statement. It did
not elaborate when the shutdown would take place or how long it
The problem concerns small fractures and a distortion on the
hull of the unit's gasifier, Hellenic said, adding there was no
danger to staff or the environment.
Hellenic's announcement follows complaints by Greek
opposition lawmakers who expressed concerns over the incident.
Earlier on Wednesday, a Greek prosecutor ordered a preliminary
investigation into the complaints.
Elefsina's flexicoker has a production capacity of 20,000
barrels per day.
Elefsina, which also has a hydrocracker unit, is one of
Hellenic's three Greek refineries. Elefsina was upgraded in late
2012 at a cost of about 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to
produce higher-value petroleum products that can be sold abroad
and reduce Hellenic's dependence on its recession-struck
($1 = 0.7359 euros)
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Joseph Radford)