* Valero schedules overhauls on three crude units
* Coker unit work to coincide with CDU turnarounds
HOUSTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Leading independent U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) said overhauls were planned at refineries in Houston, Los Angeles, Louisiana and Tennessee in the first quarter of 2012, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.
Valero plans crude unit overhauls at its Los Angeles-area, Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans-area refineries during the first quarter, the company said.
Valero also plans a gasoline unit overhaul at its Houston refinery in February, according to the statement.
The crude distillation unit and delayed coking unit will be shut for four weeks’ work at the company’s 78,000 barrel per day (bpd) Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, in January, Valero said.
A crude unit and coker will also be shut at the 205,000 bpd St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana for 10 weeks beginning in February.
Beginning in the the same month, the 65,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit will be shut for seven weeks of work at the 88,000 bpd Houston refinery,
In March, Valero will take down a CDU and coker at the 180,000 bpd Memphis refinery.
A CDU does the initial refining of crude oil coming into a refinery, providing feedstock to all other units in the refinery. A coker increases the amount of motor fuel made from a barrel of crude oil and produces petroleum coke, a coal substitute. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Marguerita Choy)