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Processing news from North America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Big West refinery sale
The Californian refinery closed just over a year ago and is due to be put up for auction in March. There has already been an opening bid from Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd’s subsidiary in the US, however, it is for only US$ 40 million. The refinery was last sold for US$ 130 million, but, that was 5 years ago and the refining industry was far more buoyant. Also, the refinery has been idle since it closed a year ago and it has been estimated that the cost of startup could reach US$ 200 million, another reason why Alon’s bid seems to be somewhat low.

Alon have not clearly stated their plans for the facility if they are successful in the bidding. However, their spokes persons have hinted that there is a possibility that the plant will remain closed and some of the equipment would be removed from Big West and taken to other refineries in its possession. There is also the possibility of the refinery being connected by pipeline to the Alon refinery in Los Angeles County.

Maintenance plans
Tesoro Corp. has announced the shutdown of its Salt Lake City refinery, Utah, for maintenance. Several units used in gasoline production at the 58 000 bpd refinery will be shutdown for an unspecified length of time. However, this is part of a planned maintenance schedule.

Biorefinery plan
CleanFuels Technology Inc., Hawaii, is forming a joint venture with Hughes Hardwood to construct a biorefinery in Wayne County, Michigan. The US$ 200 million facility will convert wood products into renewable diesel and is expected to create approximately 50 jobs in the area.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011 and the plant is expected to come online by 2014 at the latest. Once completed it will convert 1000 tpy of wood products into 1500 bpd of fuel products.

KBR contract win
KBR have announced that they have been awarded a contract by Shell to provide instrument and electrical support services at its Chemical plant, Deep Park, Texas and its refinery joint venture with PMI Norteamerica. As part of the contract, KBR’s services will include capital projects, turnarounds and continuing maintenance needs.

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