Essar introduces cost efficiency initiatives at Stanlow

Volker Shultz, Essar Oil UK chief executive
Volker Shultz, Essar Oil UK chief executive
Essar Oil UK has reconfigured its Stanlow Refinery to increase the production of high value products and further reduce the amount of fuel oil and naphtha produced on the site.
Maintenance has recently been completed on a key furnace in the main distiller unit, and the site’s smaller CD3 crude distillation unit has been mothballed earlier than originally planned, resulting in reduced fuel oil and naphtha production, and improved margins and cost efficiencies.
It is expected that Stanlow’s yield profile will be approximately 33% gasoline, 57% kerosene and diesel and 3% fuel oil, with crude and feedstock throughput reducing from 75 to 71 million barrels per annum.
This is the latest in a series of cost efficiency initiatives at Stanlow, which include the expansion of the refinery’s crude slate, the 25 year “re-lifing” of Europe’s largest catalytic cracker, and the introduction of natural gas fuel to all high pressure boilers on site.
In addition, the recent voluntary leaver incentive scheme, proposed by a joint working group of employees, has been well received by staff, with organisational changes already delivering additional cost savings.
Essar Oil UK chief executive, Volker Schultz, commented:  “This new optimised configuration has delivered an immediate improvement to our refining economics.  This is in addition to the margin enhancement initiatives already introduced, with a large number of other projects still ongoing.
“Despite the challenges facing the European refining industry, Stanlow is becoming an even more advantaged site, having undergone a major turnaround only last November, including the 25 year re-lifing of Europe’s biggest cat cracker.
“The entire business is committed to identifying and implementing additional opportunities to improve margins, with organisational streamlining also strengthening our competitive position and ensuring we have the right blend of skills and experience to build a positive and long term future for our business.”
Stanlow produces approximately 15% of UK transport fuels, including three billion litres of petrol, 3.5 billion litres of diesel and two billion litres of jet fuel per year.