2 Dec 2015

New petrol manufacturing facility fires up

9:07 pm on 2 December 2015

Refining New Zealand, the owner and operator of the country's only oil refinery at Marsden Point, has started production at its new petrol manufacturing unit.

An oil tanker at Marsden Point.

An oil tanker at Marsden Point. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

It has spent $365 million on the new facility, which has taken four years to build and replaces a 55-year-old unit, and will produce about two thirds of the country's petrol.

Refining New Zealand chief executive Sjoerd Post said the large capital project was a significant investment and it would boost its earnings.

"It's going to be a financially attractive proposition ... in terms of cashflow, we expect it will add $50 to $55 million to the bottom line, which is significant."

The refining margins are expected to increase by nearly $US1 to between $US6 and $US7 a barrel.

The new unit will also cut the refinery's carbon emissions by about 120,000 tonnes a year through improved efficiency.

Mr Post said the new unit would also lift the refinery's efficiency to keep it competitive with mega-refineries in Singapore and Korea.