RIL plans Jamnagar unit maintenance first week of Feb

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 05:12 hrs

Reliance Industries is planning to move forward its maintenance at a crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 580,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Jamnagar refinery by about a week to February 6 or 7, traders said on Monday.

When contacted, Reliance's spokesman was unable to comment on the matter.

Traders said the CDU at the export-oriented newer complex will shut for a maximum of 25 days. The maintenance was initially planned for January but it was later postponed to around February 15.

Reliance's maintenance is being scheduled just as Indian diesel demand is picking up slightly, which could curb supply and boost margins, traders said.

Essar Oil offered only one diesel cargo for January loading, after selling three cargoes for December. The company has yet to offer a cargo for February.

This is likely due to a pick-up in diesel demand in India, where it is used in the industrial, agricultural and transport sectors and closely follows the country's economic health.

India's economy will gather steam this year after its worst performance in a decade as a slew of reforms take hold and the central bank eases policy to spur growth, a Reuters poll found.

Asian gasoil margins have stayed above $19 a barrel since November, last year. They could go higher from the second quarter as maintenance season begins, traders said.

Reliance operates another plant in Jamnagar which has a capacity of 660,000 bpd. The site was hit by a fire last month that brought down on the refinery's CDUs for about a week.

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