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Early April: Construction and maintenance news from the Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

North Dakota, US

The Three Affiliated Tribes, North Dakota, are breaking ground with the development of a US$ 400 million refinery, which is currently in its initial phases. Normal taxation rates of 23 cents per gallon do not apply to fuel produced on tribal land, and tribal officials believe that this will give their refinery a supply advantage.

Pennsylvania, US

Sunoco has announced that more employees are to be laid off at former Marcus Hook refinery, as it undergoes transition towards becoming a processing plant for Marcellus Shale natural gas. It has been indicated that only 40 - 50 workers now remain at the refinery.

Oklahoma, US

Following the completion of upgrade work to its West (Sunoco) facility in December, HollyFrontier has now commenced improvements to its East (Sinclair) facility, which are to include the addition of a new sulfur unit and two tanks to hold caustic used in removing sulfur. These improvements form part of a wider scheme to integrate the former Sunoco and Sinclair plants, acquired by HollyFrontier in 2009.

North Carolina, US

The Philips 66 refinery in Wilmington, North Carolina, is seeking new ways to reduce cancer risk figures, following unfavourable risk data logged in 2006 – 2007. A spokesman for the refinery has suggested that substantial reductions to diesel usage, considered an influential factor in regards to cancer risk, have already been made. In 2012, the refinery utilised only 75 000 gal, compared to almost 200 000 in 2010.

Texas, US

Maintenance work at the LyondellBasell refinery in Houston has been concluded, and all units have now returned to service.

Ohio, US

Husky has invested US$ 60 million in its Lima complex. This new capital will enable the refinery to produce an additional 20 000 bpd of jet fuel or diesel.

US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands and HOVENSA have agreed ‘in principle’ a sale process for the St. Croix refinery, which was turned into a storage facility last year due to unprofitability. It is expected that a finalised agreement will be reached within the next 10 days.


Total has agreed to sell its stake in the Voyageur partnership to Suncor Energy Inc. for US$ 500 million. This news follows the decision by both groups not to go ahead with plans to build an upgrader facility in northern Alberta.


Foster Wheeler has announced that a subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has won a contract with Pecket Energy to perform feasibility and engineering studies, as well as develop an overall cost estimate for an SNG production facility which is to be built near Punta Arenas, Chile.

Adapted from press releases by Emma McAleavey

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