CDU, coker shut by leak at TotalEnergies Texas refinery, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Mar 11, 2024 | 2:09 PM

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The coker and small crude distillation unit (CDU) were shut by a leak on the gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) at TotalEnergies’ 238,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, people familiar with plant operations said on Monday.

The 40,000-bpd ACU-2 CDU and 60,000-bpd coker are expected to be shut for one to two days while a clamp is fabricated to fix the leak on the 76,000-bpd FCC, the sources said.

A company spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment.

The FCC was shut for a three-month overhaul that ended in late November. It struggled to resume full production until being hit by a plantwide power outage on Jan. 16. The refinery returned to normal production by Feb. 21 following the outage.

TotalEnergies reported two sulfur recovery units malfunctioned on March 7, according to a notice to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

ACU-2 is the smaller of two CDUs that begin the refining process by breaking down crude oil into feedstocks for all other units at the refinery.

The FCC uses a fine powder catalyst to convert gas oil into gasoline.

The coker converts residual crude oil from distillation units into either feedstocks to make motor fuels or petroleum coke, which can be a substitute for coal.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)