September 11, 2019 / 4:53 PM / 7 days ago

Lyondell Houston refinery continues demolition program: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - LyondellBasell Industries is in the second year of a five-year program to demolish permanently idled units at its 263,776 barrel-per-day (bpd) Houston refinery, said sources familiar with plant operations.

A Lyondell spokeswoman said the company does remove equipment no longer needed at the refinery but did not provide details about the work currently underway.

“Managing our assets through their lifecycle is a part of doing business,” said company spokeswoman Patricia Shieh-Lance. “This includes planned maintenance and removal of equipment that is no longer in service to ensure our operations run smoothly and our personnel remain safe.”

The demolition of the units, which costs $100 million per year, will make the refinery more attractive to a potential buyer if Lyondell chooses to sell the plant, the sources said.

One criticism of the refinery by potential buyers in 2016, when Lyondell put the plant up for sale, was the lack of space to expand within the refinery, the sources said.

Lyondell took the refinery off the market as the company and would-be buyers disagreed on its value, Lyondell Chief Executive Bob Patel said in 2017.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker

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