Anglo Dutch oil company Shell has restarted operations at the Yabucoa refinery in Puerto Rico, as part of plans to use small-scale refineries to provide competitive feeds for its lower olefins plants in the United States.
"We have been consciously looking for opportunities to strengthen our feedstock position in the region and Yabucoa will allow us to grow the value of our business there," Shell Chemicals lower olefins VP Bill Colquhoun said.
Shell bought the 77,000b/d capacity refinery, on Puerto Rico's southeast coast, from Sunoco in December 2001. It began operations in 1971 and was primarily used to make lubricant base oils, although was in shutdown mode since June 2001.
Since Shell bought the plant, it has been working on restarting it, and reconfiguring it to produce petrochemical feedstocks and fuel products. A Shell spokesperson declined to say how much the investment in the restart came to.
Gasoline, diesel, other fuel products will be sold locally. The feedstock will be shipped to Shell Chemical's chemical plants in Texas and Louisiana.