Williams completes expansion at Memphis refinery


Williams has completed the fast-track expansion of its Memphis, Tenn., refinery, officials reported. That $123 million expansion involved construction of a continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reforming unit, boosting the refinery's production capacity to more than 160,000 b/d, from 140,000 b/d previously.

Most of the 20,000 b/d capacity increase is for production of premium gasoline. The Williams plant�the only petroleum refinery in Tennessee�produces gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, propane, and other specialty products. Since 1990, production capacity at the refinery has increased by about 160%.

"The CCR unit significantly enhances the refinery's flexibility," said refinery Pres. Bill Miller. "Now, we can produce more premium gasoline for local drivers and have greater flexibility in choosing the types of crude oil we process and the product slates we produce. It allows us to better respond to changes in market demand and positions us well for future low-sulfur gasoline and diesel regulations."

"These types of projects typically take 30 months from concept to completion," said Jeff Warmann, operations manager. "We were able to do it in 23 months through aggressive scheduling, the strong initiative of employees, and diligent efforts by our contractors."

The CCR unit uses technology licensed by Des Plaines, Ill.-based UOP LLC to make high-octane fuel. Construction was by Howe-Baker Engineers Inc. of Tyler, Tex.

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