(EnergyAsia, April 26 2012, Thursday) — Shareholders of New Zealand’s only oil refinery are expected to approve its proposal to invest NZ$365 million in building a new unit to process crude into gasoline, kerosene and diesel. (US$1=NZ$1.23).

Shareholders are expected to vote in favour of the continuous catalyst regeneration platformer (CCR) project at The New Zealand Refining Company (NZRC)’s annual meeting on April 27.

Built in 1964, the 96,000 b/d plant at Marsden Point is in need of an extensive upgrade to the country’s rising demand for fuel. The plant now meets 55% of the country’s gasoline demand with imports the remaining 45%.

The government has welcome the project for enhancing New Zealand’s energy supply security while creating hundreds of jobs and reducing green house gas emissions from production of cleaner-burning fuels when it is completed by 2016.

Located in Whangarei on the country’s North Island, the refinery is owned by BP, Exxon Mobil, Aotea Energy Limited, Garlow Management Incorporated and Chevron, as well as approximately 3,600 private and institutional investors.

The majority of the company’s board voted on February 21 to support the  CCR investment which will be ultimately decided by a shareholder vote on April 27.