Placid Refining to upgrade Port Allen refinery

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 23 -- Placid Refining Co. LLC has begun a $200 million upgrade of its 55,000 b/cd refinery in Port Allen, La. The upgrade will increase the facility's gasoline production by 30% to about 1.3 million gal/day while reducing total air emissions by about 50%.

The upgrade is being implemented in a two phases.

Phase one, which started in June, involves construction of a 18,000 b/d gasoline desulfurization unit, a flue-gas scrubber for the facility's fluid catalytic cracker to reduce emissions of sulfur, and other infrastructure improvements. This work is scheduled for completion in second quarter 2008.

Phase two, which will begin in the third quarter, includes the upgrade and expansion of the FCC to 24,500 b/d from 20,000 b/d and therefore allowing expansion by similar capacity for the alkylation unit. Placid also will expand the Rose deasphalting unit to 11,000 b/d from 7,000 b/d to convert heavier oils into gasoline and diesel. The majority of the construction for the second phase is scheduled for third quarter 2008, during a 30-day turnaround.

Placid currently supplies 35-40% of the gasoline consumed in the Baton Rouge, La., area. The company said it is considering expansion of the refinery to 80,000 b/d later this decade.

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