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CEPSA invests in new refining and petrochemical projects

11/16/2004 - Italy - These projects will entail total capital expenditures of over 300 million euros and the creation of nearly 100 direct jobs CEPSA plans to build a new Light Naphtha Reformer unit at its La Rábida Refinery

Production capacity at its petrochemical affiliate ERTISA will be raised by 60%

CEPSA will spend over 300 million euros to build a Light Naphtha Reformer (LNR) unit at its La Rábida Refinery and expand the facilities of its wholly-owned petrochemical affiliate ERTISA.

Construction of the Light Naphtha Reformer (LNR) unit at the La Rábida Refinery will require capital expenditures of 160 million euros. The plant will employ 25 workers, contributing to the consolidation of 700 direct jobs and other indirect employment generated by the Refinery and will afford greater added value to its productive processes.

The Light Naphtha Reforming unit will deploy AROMAX® technology, patented by Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, which will provide consulting and support services to CEPSA during the design and construction process of the plant, slated to be completed in the second half of 2006, around the same time as work to expand ERTISA will also be finalized.

The new facility will produce 220,000 tons per year of benzene and 75 tons per day of hydrogen, in addition to other products.

This project will make a new source available for the production of hydrogen, an essential component for obtaining a lower content of sulfur in fuels, pursuant to European Union environmental specifications, and allow new developments in this line. The increase in benzene production will reduce CEPSA's current shortage for its key applications (cyclohexane, phenol and linear alkylbenzene) and cover the needs of ERTISA's new plant.

In ERTISA, planned investments amount to 145 million euros, which will be assigned towards building a new Cumene/Phenol plant in order to meet growing demand for its products, especially for the manufacture of polycarbonate, a high-quality engineering plastic widely used in the audio/video and automotive industries.

Once construction work is completed, the plant will generate over 60 new jobs. At present, ERTISA directly employs 290 people.

ERTISA's new facility will consist of a Cumene unit, with a capacity of 300,000 tons per year, and a Phenol/Acetone unit, with capacities of 200,000 and 125,000 tons per year, respectively. As a result of this expansion, ERTISA will become the second leading European phenol producer and maintain its level of competitiveness from the integration of its processes with those of the La Rábida Refinery.

The petrochemical feedstocks produced by ERTISA are earmarked towards the manufacture of products such as special plastics, synthetic fibers, polycarbonates and metacrylates, to name a few. These components are sold at home and in a variety of countries and markets abroad, such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Portugal, Belgium, North America and the Far East.

As a result of these projects, the company's refining/petrochemicals synergies will be enhanced considerably. In addition to its facilities in Spain, CEPSA also has petrochemical plants in Canada and Brazil and markets its products on all five continents around the globe.

Product  Current  LNR plant capacity   Total  
  capacity    capacity 
Benzene  141,000 MT/year  220,000 MT/year  361,000 MT/year 
Hydrogen  90 MT/day  75 MT/day  165 MT/day 

Product  Current capacity  Increase in capacity MT/year  Total  
  MT/year    capacity 
Cumene  500,000  300,000  800,000 
Phenol  350,000  200,000  550,000 
Acetone  215,000  125,000  340,000 

Madrid, November 16, 2004
Institutional Relations Division
Tel: (34) 91 337 63 56

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