By Paul McBeth
Oct. 22 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand Refining, operator of the country’s only oil refinery, added an extra US cent to its margins from recent upgrades, and anticipates further gains from a bigger project to be completed next month.
The Whangarei-based company has lifted margins 13 US cents per barrel from a series of initiatives aimed at lifting productivity, ahead of the 12 US cents per barrel improvement flagged in August, it said in a statement. The refinery anticipates the margin will be widened by a further 90 US cents to US$1.10 per barrel once the Te Mahi Hou upgrade to replace an ageing petrol manufacturing unit is completed next month.
NZ Refining returned to profit in the first half of this year as a weaker kiwi dollar and a sharp drop in oil prices helped widen the company’s refining margin.
The shares increased 0.3 percent to $3.43, and have climbed 54 percent this year, outpacing the 1.8 percent gain on the NZX All Index over the same period.