Valero breaks ground on Port Arthur refinery project

David N. Nakamura
Refining/Petrochemical Editor

HOUSTON, Aug. 13 -- Valero Energy Corp. broke ground Aug. 13 on a $2.4 billion expansion project at its 325,000-b/d refinery in Port Arthur, Tex. The project, which includes the construction of a 50,000-b/d hydrocracker and 45,000-b/d coker, will increase the refinery's crude distillation capacity to 415,000 b/d.

"The Port Arthur expansion project emphasizes ultralow-sulfur diesel production, reflecting the significant projected growth in demand for diesel both in the US and around the world," said Bill Klesse, Valero chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release earlier this year.

The expansion is the company's largest-ever capital investment project. Valero expects the hydrocracker project to finish in fourth-quarter 2010 and the coker project to finish in second-quarter 2011.

Contracts have been awarded to Fluor Corp. for the hydrocracker project (OGJ Online, Aug. 7, 2008) and Technip for two processing units—a saturate gas recovery unit and an amine treating unit—and offsites work associated with the refinery expansion.

Contact David N. Nakamura at davidn@ogjonline.com.

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