The massive $365 million project to lift the Marsden Pt oil refinery's processing capacity by about 3 million barrels a year should be finished by December, with $303 million already spent on the scheme.

Te Mahi Hou - a $365 million project to create a Continuous Catalyst Regeneration Platformer at the refinery that will add about US$1.10 a barrel in profits and provide 80 per cent of all New Zealand's fuel needs - is around 85 per cent complete, Refining NZ spokesman Greg McNeill said.

The news comes as the company recorded a $10 million profit last year after a loss the previous year.

"We are into the final throes of construction and are due to enter the commissioning phase later in the year. The project is on track - and on budget - to complete in December 2015," Mr McNeill said.

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About 300 people are working on the project, with the photograph (above), showing, from left, the air cooler pipe rack, furnace and reactor with CCR modules behind.

About $147 million of the budget of the Refining NZ project will be spent in Northland.

Mr McNeill said Te Mahi Hou would lift refinery processing capacity by about 3 million barrels a year to a total of about 44.5 million barrels, increase gasoline production from 11 to 13 million barrels a year and reduce CO2 emissions by about 120,000 tonnes a year.

During the peak of construction Te Mahi Hou was expected to add 1.33 per cent to Northland's GDP, which was $3377 million in the year to March 2012, Mr McNeill said.