Essar Oil UK's Stanlow Refinery is now operating as a newly reconfigured and optimised single train site to increase the production of high value products and further reduce the amount of fuel oil and naphtha it produces.
A recent short term pit stop saw the completion of maintenance work on a key furnace in the main distiller unit, with no impact on the supply of products to customers. The work was completed ahead of schedule, with the site's smaller CD3 crude distillation unit now mothballed earlier than originally planned.
This mothballing will further reduce fuel oil and naphtha production, improve margins and deliver cost efficiencies. It is expected Stanlow's yield profile will be approximately 33% gasoline, 57% kerosene and diesel and 3% fuel oil, with annualised crude and feedstock throughput reducing from 75 to 71 million barrels per annum.
The new single train configuration is the latest in a series of value driving initiatives at Stanlow, which include the expansion of the refinery's crude slate, the 25 year re-lifing of Europe's largest catalytic cracker and introduction of natural gas fuel to all high pressure boilers on site.
In addition, the recent voluntary Leaver Incentive Scheme proposed by a joint working group of employees has been well received by staff, with organisational changes now underway delivering additional cost savings.
Essar Oil UK Chief Executive, Volker Schultz, commented: "This new optimised configuration has delivered an immediate improvement to our refining economics. This is in addition to the margin enhancement initiatives already introduced, with a large number of other projects still ongoing.
"Despite the challenges facing the European refining industry, Stanlow is becoming an even more advantaged site, having undergone a major turnaround only last November including the 25 year re lifing of Europe's biggest cat cracker.
"The entire business is committed to identifying and implementing additional opportunities to improve margins, with organisational streamlining also strengthening our competitive position and ensuring we have the right blend of skills and experience to build a positive and long term future for our business."