March 9, 2011 / 2:10 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Units shut at Curacao 335,000 bpd refinery - union

* Four units down for a week, union leader says

* Cracker up since January after lengthy stoppage

(adds details)

WILLEMSTAD, March 9 (Reuters) - A boiler failure has paralyzed four processing units at Curacao’s Isla oil refinery since the weekend, a union leader said on Wednesday.

But a catalytic cracking unit down since March last year has been back up and operating fine since January at the facility run by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA on the Caribbean island, refinery union president Angelo Meir added.

Meir said the four units should be closed for a week while the boiler was repaired.

“In a week, they should be operative,” he told Reuters.

PDVSA has operated the large refinery since 1985 on the Caribbean island of 150,000 people, 40 miles (64 km) off the Venezuelan coast.

Isla represents more than 10 percent of the company’s global refining capacity. A tank depot next to the facility can store up to 16 million barrels of crude and has become an important staging point for Venezuelan oil shipments to China. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by John Picinich)

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