Essar Energy plc [LSE: ESSR], the India-focused integrated energy company, today announced that it has completed the 35 day shutdown of the Vadinar Refinery on schedule.
The shutdown was taken for the tie-in of new units for the phase 1 expansion of the Vadinar Refinery and the revamp of three major units relating to the expansion – the CDU (Crude Distillation Unit), the FCCU (Fluidised Catalytic Cracking Unit) and the SRU (Sulphur Recovery Unit). Essar Energy has also taken advantage of the shutdown to carry out routine maintenance and inspection work.
In total, 2,424 maintenance and inspection jobs and over 1,400 tie-in jobs for the revamped units were completed. All of these jobs were completed without any accidents or injuries.
Mr Naresh Nayyar, Chief Executive Officer of Essar Energy, said: “This was a complex task involving around 15,000 employees and contractors which was completed on schedule and to the highest safety standards. The completion of the phase I expansion will be a major value driver for the company, increasing gross refining margins, cash flow and profitability. In addition, the opportunity to carry out routine maintenance and inspection at the same time means we can also benefit from an extended period of operation without any further shutdowns.”
The Vadinar phase I expansion will increase refinery capacity from 300,000 barrels per day (bbl/day) to 375,000 bbl/day and increase the complexity of the refinery from 6.1 to 11.8, allowing for the processing of a much higher percentage of heavy and ultra heavy crude oils and the production of a higher value product mix. The expansion should be mechanically complete by year end and fully ramped up and stabilised by the end of March 2012.
The Vadinar phase I expansion has a capital cost of US$1.85 billion and is part of a major expansion programme which will see Essar Energy complete almost US$5 billion of projects across its power generation and refining businesses by March 2012.
Essar Energy is also well underway with an additional optimisation project at the Vadinar refinery which will see the capacity of the refinery further enhanced to 405,000 bbl/day by September 2012 at a capital cost of c. US$380 million. This project involves converting the redundant Vizbreaker Unit into a second Crude Distillation Unit and optimising the capacity of all supporting infrastructure.
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About Essar Energy
Essar Energy (LSE:ESSR) is a world class, low-cost, integrated energy company with an established track record.
Essar Energy, through its subsidiaries, owns one of India's largest private power producers with 1,600MW of installed capacity and projects under construction to expand its capacity to 9,670MW.
Essar Energy, through its subsidiaries, owns one of India's fastest growing private sector oil and gas companies with a diverse portfolio of exploration and production assets. The Vadinar refinery, located in Gujarat, is India's second largest private sector oil refinery with throughput capacity of 14.7 million metric tonnes per annum and plans to expand to 20mmtpa by September 2012.
About Essar Group
The Essar Group is a multinational conglomerate and a leading player in the sectors of Steel, Oil & Gas, Power, BPO & Telecom Services, Shipping, Ports, and Projects. With operations in more than 25 countries across five continents, the Group employs 75,000 people and has annual revenues of US$17 billion.
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