UPDATE 2-Valero sees Aruba refinery fully operational by Jan

* Restart to begin within next several days

* Refinery has been idled for a year and a half
(Adds details, background)

Dec 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N: ) said on
Monday it plans to restart its shuttered Aruba refinery within
the next several days and expects the facility to be fully
operational by the end of January.

The restart comes about 18 months after Valero shut the
235,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant in July 2009, on concern
over an uncertain tax regime and unfavorable economic
conditions.

“The restart was supported in part by the settlement
agreement reached with the Government of Aruba and approved by
the Parliament of Aruba last May,” the company said in a
statement.

On May 31, Aruba approved a tax settlement deal for the
idled refinery on the Caribbean island in a settlement that
would help make the refinery more viable for Valero and for any
future buyer. [ID:nN31252975]

Valero — the nation’s second-largest refiner behind Exxon
Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) — said it has spent more than $90 million
so far on the overhaul of the refinery, which began shortly
after the tax settlement.

“Now that the turnaround work has been completed, Valero
has determined that market conditions support the refinery’s
operation,” Valero said.

The refinery is crucial for Aruba’s economy which derives
the lion’s share of its GDP from tourism and virtually all of
the remainder from Valero’s facility there.

San Antonio, Texas-based Valero added it has signed an
Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Aruba
addressing the delivery of liquefied natural gas to Aruba, to
reduce utility costs and lower emissions on the island.

The refinery employs more than 650 people full-time, and
refinery investments and financial impact represents more than
12 percent of Aruba’s gross domestic product, Valero said.

Prior to shutting the refinery, Valero used Aruba to make
feedstocks that were sent to Gulf Coast and East Coast
refineries to be made into finished fuels.
(Reporting by Antonita Madonna Devotta in Bangalore;editing by
Marguerita Choy)

UPDATE 2-Valero sees Aruba refinery fully operational by Jan