New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd has deferred the planned shutdown of half of its 660,000 barrels day (bpd) refinery to July from May-June, trade sources said on Tuesday.
“Because of its product supply commitment, the shutdown will now take place in July, first week. It will be for 15-18 days and depending on the job it may be extended,” said a trade source.
Another trade source said the partial shutdown of the refinery would begin from 1 July.
No immediate comment was available from Reliance.
The company is expected to shut a 325,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU), a near 100,000 bpd diesel hydro desulphurization unit and a a vacuum gas oil hydrotreater for maintenance.
“Reliance has two different chains of crude units... during the shutdown the FCCU (fluid catalytic cracker unit) and coker will run at lower capacity as they are common to both the CDUs,” said the first trade source.
It is not clear when the second crude unit and associated downstream units would be shut for maintenance.
The shutdown of crude units at the old plant is linked to commissioning of second crude unit at the new 580,000 bpd refinery. The second crude unit at the new refinery is likely to be commissioned by the end of June.
The new refinery, owned by subsidiary Reliance Petroleum and located next to the 660,000 bpd complex in Jamnagar in western Gujarat state, started operations in late December.
In May, Reliance started a 200,000 bpd FCCU at its new refinery.
Other than the FCC unit, a crude distillation unit, a coker, a diesel hydrotreater and a vacuum gas oil hydrotreater are functional at the new refinery.
In April, Reliance’s older 660,000 bpd refinery retreated from exporting, turning to focus on the local market due to falling global demand and margins, potentially ending auto fuel imports by India state refiners.
Indian Oil Corp plans to buy 3.1 million tonnes of auto fuel from Reliance in the 2009-10 fiscal year (April-March).
Hindustan Petroleum Corp could not get supplies from the private refiner this month due to its export commitments.