Total Lindsey Oil Refinery halves capacity as adaption plan reaches key stage

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 23 Sep 2016

TOTAL Lindsey Oil Refinery’s capacity has this week been halved, as a poignant milestone in the huge adaptation plan is reached. 

One of the two crude distillation units has been stopped, reducing the North Killingholme refinery’s output by 50 per cent, from 220,000 barrels a day to 110,000.

It is part of the major project announced in February 2015 that is seeing headcount fall from 580 to 400.

More than £30 million is being invested to secure the French-owned plant’s long term future, with a leaner more competitive outcome. 

It has restructured the refinery, reinforced conversion units and rationalised logistics. 

The crude distillation unit, known as CDU1, stopped treating crude imports on Wednesday at 8pm. Associated units will be closed as the refining process is completed.

It follows a major summer turnaround and inspection, during which the remaining crude distillation unit, CDU2, has be been massively overhauled in a single £12 million investment. Up to 900 contractors were involved.

As reported, the company is bringing down the headcount with no forced redundancies.

In a statement, the company said: “The social dialogue has been of a high quality in line with Total’s standard resulting in successful finalisation of the consultation process. 

“The programme involves re-training of the remaining workforce.” 

Since 2007, 13 per cent of overall refining capacity in the UK and Europe has been lost, with 34 per cent of that in the UK.

While capacity will be reduced by 50 per cent, the crude distillation unit now shut down has not run near maximum output, and the focus now will be the domestic market, where capacity will be unaffected. Exports had left the business exposed to poor demand and chronic over capacity. 

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