(EnergyAsia, February 24 2012, Friday) — New Zealand’s only oil refinery at Marsden Point will undergo a NZ$425 million upgrade aimed at increasing energy efficiency, reducing fuel losses and improving product yields. (US$1=NZ$1.2).

The proposed upgrade, New Zealand Refining Company’s third in seven years, largely comprises the construction of a new continuous catalyst regeneration platformer.

The company announced the upgrade, which must be approved by shareholders, after reporting a 40% drop in profit for the year to December 31, and that it would be looking for a new chief executive to replace Ken Rivers who returns to Britain this year.

Citing poor refining margins, the weak US dollar and the high cost of its pension scheme, the company said net profits fell from NZ$57.7 million in 2010 to NZ$34.5 million last year.

Built in 1964, the Marsden refinery in North island supplies all of the country’s jet fuel and bunker fuel, nearly 80% of its diesel, and half of its gasoline.