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EPA finalises two greenhouse gas permits

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Refinery permit

The US EPA has issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit to Flint Hills Resources in Corpus Christi, Texas, to modify an existing petroleum refinery. Flint Hills will also modify equipment to allow their West refinery facility to increase capacity to process domestic crude oil. Modifying the facility will employ up to 2000 people, with 36 permanent employees expected. The permit became effective immediately upon signature.

Ethylene cracker permit

The EPA has also awarded the above to Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) in Ingleside, Texas. Oxychem’s permit allows the company to build an ethylene cracker. OxyChem’s project is a 50/50 joint venture between OxyChem and Mexichem, S.A.B de C.V. The cracker will produce approximately 1.2 billion lbs/y of ethylene using cracking furnaces equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology to control emissions of nitrogen oxides. Essentially all of the ethylene produced will be used onsite in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer. The project is expected to create 1700 construction jobs and add 150 permanent jobs once operations begin.

EPA Regional Administrator, Ron Curry said, ‘OxyChem’s new plant will make the most of the company’s resources. Reusing feedstock and waste heat shows that being as efficient as possible is good for business and the environment.’

GHG permitting programs

In June 2010, EPA finalised national GHG regulations, which specify that beginning on January 2nd 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.

EPA has finalised 40 GHG permits in Texas, proposed an additional 10 and currently has over 22 additional GHG permit applications under review and permit development in Texas.

Adapted for website by Claira Lloyd

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