Oil Refineries Ltd., Israel's largest integrated refining and petrochemical group, announced that it has successfully activated the hydrocracker, which passed the project's acceptance test and is producing distillates of the required quality and commercial quantities. The hydrocracker project is part of the Company's strategic plan, which was outlined in late 2007. The $500 million invested in the project was a key part of the 2007 strategic plan, which overall totaled $1 billion. The strategic plan includes, among other things, upgrading the HVGO desulfurization facility of and other facilities, which have expanded and upgraded our refining and cracking capacity as well as our production of oil and petrochemical products.
Pinhas Buchris, CEO of ORL, commented: "We are pleased with the hydrocracker's activation, which is an important step in the implementation of the Company's strategy. The hydrocracker is a very complex piece of equipment. The project's establishment lasted about three years and cost about $500 million so we see its activation as a business, technological and organizational achievement. The integration of the hydrocracker into ORL's operations will enable us to produce improved and higher quality distillates relative even to the strict environmental standards and improve our competitive standing in the world. We believe that through the hydrocracker we can maximize the production capacity of the Company and positively impact our operational efficiency and hence improve the Company's financial results."
The hydrocracker is currently working on an input of about 25,000 barrels per day. Its products - LPG, naphtha, kerosene and diesel - are of a very high quality. The hydrocracker significantly improves the competitive positioning of the refinery by increasing the refinery's complexity and improving the Company's ability to produce a more profitable product mix. The Company believes that the hydrocracker's operation will improve its refining margin and as such, its financial results. It will also help to expand and further focus our efficiency measures and streamlining processes, about which the Company recently announced. The impact of the facility on the Company's operating results will depend on the prevailing refining margins in the global market, and in the Mediterranean market in particular.