Hovensa, the St. Croix-based refinery, announced plans to shut down processing units on the western side of the plant, reducing capacity by about 30 percent. The company also announced it is evaluating its personnel needs.
The announcement came in a faxed press release sent out Wednesday morning.
According to the release, the move will reduce the refinery’s crude-oil-distillation capacity from 500,000 barrels a day to about 350,000, with no impact on the capacity of the coker unit for the fluid catalytic cracking unit.
In terms of employees, the release says, "The company is in the process of determining its workforce needs going forward. In the interim, it has placed an immediate hold on filling most open positions and cancelled the 2011 turnarounds previously scheduled for the west side units that will be shut down."
The company said its employees and contractors were notified of the plans Wednesday.
"Simplifying our operation by eliminating some older, smaller process units is expected to result in improved efficiency, reliability and competitiveness," said John W. George, Hovensa’s interim chief operating officer.