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Early May US downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Cobalt Technologies, a producer of butanol from woody biomass sources, has said it has raised US$ 20 million to be used to help build a cellulosic biorefinery in Alpena. The complex will be the world’s first to produce butanol, an industrial chemical.


Valero’s 180,000 bpd Memphis refinery was preparing for possible flooding on May 2, as Mississippi River levels are expected to peak in the next few days. Precautions, including moving equipment to higher ground, are being taken following heavy rainfall.


All processing units are restarting as planned at BP’s 475 000 bpd Texas City refinery following last week's plant wide shutdown due to power outages. Several units, including the ultracracker unit, have reportedly been restarted but the plant will not be fully operational for several more days.

All production units are back online and approaching planned rates at Valero's 214 000 bpd Texas City refinery. The refinery experienced a plant wide shutdown last week due power outages.

Marathon Oil's 76 000 bpd Texas City refinery returned to planned rates on May 4. The plant did not suffer a total shutdown, as the Texas power outages only affected specific units.


BP is planning an 18 month, US$ 400 million upgrade for its Cherry Point refinery in Birch Bay this year. The project, slated to start in June, will eventually allow the refinery to produce hydrogen for use in making gasoline and diesel fuel. The expansion will produce approximately US$ 25 million in tax revenue and create 350 construction jobs. Kidd explained. Once the new facility is operational in December 2012, the refinery will require eight more full time workers.

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