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Milestone reached in massive Refinery upgrade

Critical milestone reached in massive Refinery upgrade

The $180 million ‘Future Fuels’ upgrade of the Marsden Point Refinery reached a critical milestone yesterday with the arrival of a single shipment containing 32,000 cubic metres of plant equipment at Marsden Point.

Media are invited to North Port at Marsden Point at 11am, Monday 20th, to see the unloading of the equipment, to be briefed on the biggest upgrade of the Refinery in over 25 years and to tour the construction site.

The General Manager of the New Zealand Refining Company, Thomas Zengerly, described the delivery of the 1,850 tonnes of equipment on a single shipment as a “logistical masterpiece”.

“Simply loading all of this equipment onto the ship has taken six full days from ports in Japan, Indonesia and Thailand, including one full day just to load the reactor,” said Zengerly.

“It has taken two and a half weeks for the heavy-lift vessel to sail from Thailand to Marsden Point and it will take a further five days, a crew of around 40 and three port transporters simply to get all of this equipment off the boat.”

Zengerly said a new road has been built specifically for the transportation of the heavy equipment from the port to the Refinery site and a heavy lift crane has been installed at the Refinery for the erection of the new process plants.

The ‘Future Fuels’ upgrade will allow the Refinery to meet Government’s new specifications for cleaner fuel from 2006, including reducing the benzene content in petrol from three to one per cent and the sulphur content in diesel from 500 to 50 parts per million.

Zengerly said the upgrade represented a massive investment in the production of top-quality petroleum-based products in New Zealand and would confirm Marsden Point as one of the world’s most efficient and modern refineries.

He said the project would also provide a significant boost to the Northland economy.

“This project is one of the biggest single industrial projects currently underway in New Zealand, with more than 300 additional people working on the Marsden Point site during the construction phase of the project,” he said.

The upgraded Refinery will be fully operational by 1 October 2005.

A media briefing will take place at the Refinery at Marsden Point on 20 September at 11am followed by a tour of the construction site and the port.

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