October 30, 2018 / 10:15 PM / a month ago

Lyondell Houston refinery plans to restart CDU this week: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Lyondell Basell Industries expects to begin restarting a crude distillation unit (CDU) and a coker at its 263,776 barrel per day (bpd) Houston refinery late this week, Gulf Coast market sources said on Tuesday.

The 120,000-bpd 536 CDU and 56,000-bpd 737 coker were shut on Sept. 17 for a six-week overhaul.

Lyondell spokeswoman Chevalier Gray declined to comment.

During a Tuesday morning conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings with Wall Street analysts, Lyondell Chief Executive Bob Patel said the crude-coker overhaul would allow the Houston refinery to run without planned maintenance for 18 months beginning in the second half of next year.

“Given that we’re just finishing our maintenance on a crude unit and a coker unit at our refinery, we’re set up for virtually no planned maintenance in the second half of ‘19 through 2020,” Patel said.

That will give Lyondell greater opportunity for profits from a switch to ultra-low-sulfur marine fuel beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, when the International Maritime Organization will require sulfur content of ship fuel be no greater than 0.5 percent. The current sulfur level is 3.5 percent.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler

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