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Late July, downstream news: USA

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



A Republican senator, Rick Jones, is pushing tax incentives in order to prompt the construction of a new ‘portable’ refinery in Michigan.

Portable refineries are smaller in size and have a modular design that is easier to build and less costly. A refinery of this type is already planned for North Dakota, whose Bakken shale formation is expected to yield 850 000 bpd of crude oil next year.


A Westlake refinery is holding a public meeting this week about its proposal to sink a sheet metal barrier into the ground to keep chemicals out of Bayou Verdine.

The Axiall Corp. refinery has been using wells to pump chlorinated hydrocarbon away from the bayou. It has asked the state for permission to change that to a permanent groundwater barrier along its north dock.

Wednesday’s meeting will explain the proposed change and take public comment about it. Comments can be submitted until 26th August.


Philadelphia Energy Solutions has now returned its alkylation unit to normal operations at its refinery. The unit has been on circulation since a malfunction on 12th July, however it has now been reheated and its rates increased last week.

The Energy Solutions Philadelphia refining complex is the largest on the East Coast. It supplies gasoline, jet and diesel fuel to the New York Harbour region.


Praxair has launched a new 135 million ft3/d hydrogen plant in Port Arthur, Texas. The plant will serve the Valero refinery, in addition to other regional customers.

The new plant houses the largest steam methane reformer (SMR) built by Praxair to date. The SMR is connected to Praxair’s existing 750 million ft3/d Gulf Coast pipeline network.

Approximately 450 000 lb/hr will be supplied for Valero’s new 57 000 bpd hydrocracker.


Conservation groups are challenging a permit granted for the construction of an oil refinery near Green River.

The permit for the US$ 224 million Emery Refining plant was approved last month by the Utah Division of Air Quality, allowing production of up to 20 000 bpd. Equipped with up to date emissions controls, the plant would be limited to 144.83 tpy of key pollutants, 2.71 tpy of hazardous air pollutants and no more than 90.096 tpy of carbon dioxide.

The conservation groups contend that the region’s air quality will be harmed if the plant begins refining oil shale ans tar sands from the Colorado River Basin’s Green River Formation.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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