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BPCL to shut crude unit at Kochi refinery for 3 weeks from Dec. 1

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp will shut a 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude unit and some secondary units at its Kochi refinery for about three weeks from early December for maintenance, its head of refineries said.

"It (this shutdown) is mandatory to inspect the new plant after you run it for a year. We will open up some of the critical equipment to see if things are intact," R. Ramachandran told Reuters on Tuesday.

BPCL last year raised the capacity of the Kochi refinery in southern India by about 63 percent to 310,000 bpd.

As part of the expansion BPCL installed a new crude unit and secondary units including a delayed coker, fluid catalytic cracker, vacuum gasoil hydro-treater, diesel hydro-treater, sulfur Recovery Unit, and hydrogen generation unit (HGU).

Ramachandran said the three-week shutdown will begin around Dec. 1.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Richard Pullin)