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Exxon to begin restart of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery this weekend: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N> plans to begin restarting its 502,500 barrel-per-day Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery as early as Friday with the largest crude distillation unit (CDU), said sources familiar with plant operations.

The 210,000 bpd PSLA-10 CDU has been shut along with most units at the refinery since a Feb. 12 natural gas pipeline fire, the sources said. The pipeline supplied natural gas to the refinery’s four CDUs.

Also beginning to restart on Friday is a 39,000 bpd reformer, the sources said.

An Exxon spokesman was not immediately available to discuss operations at the Baton Rouge refinery.

After PSLA-10 restarts, Exxon plans to start-up a 110,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), a 45,000-bpd coker, an 18,750-bpd alkylation unit, a light-ends unit and a sulfur recovery unit, according to the sources.

After PSLA-10 restarts and as early as this weekend, Exxon plans to restart the second-largest CDU, the 110,000 bpd PSLA-9, the sources said.

Early next week, Exxon plans to restart a 40,000 bpd hydrotreater, the sources said.

Later next week, the company plans to complete restarting the 90,000 bpd PSLA-7 CDU and its twin, the 90,000 bpd PSLA-8 as well as a 27,500 bpd coker, according to the sources.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)