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CITGO celebrates Lemont refinery anniversary

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On 1 September, CITGO Petroleum Corporation capped off celebrations of the CITGO Lemont refinery's 90th anniversary by welcoming community leaders, non-profit partners, employees and retirees to the refinery for a commemorative ceremony. This follows efforts throughout the year to thank Chicagoland for its many years of support through volunteer activities and community events.

Located 35 miles southwest of Chicago, the CITGO Lemont refinery has grown to be a valuable part of the CITGO network and the Lemont community, contributing more than US$300 million every year to the area's economy and thousands of volunteer hours supporting local organisations. Over its nine decades of operation, the refinery has grown from a crude capacity of 25 000 bpd to more than 167 000 bpd. Situated on 1100 acres, the refinery is capable of processing heavy crude oil into a variety of products, including approximately 7 million gal. of gasoline per day, as well as diesel, propane and aviation turbine fuel.

"The CITGO Lemont refinery employs more than 550 full time employees and 500 additional contractors, representing about 85 local communities," said CITGO President and CEO Nelson Martinez. "Our connection to the Lemont area is deep and long lasting, and we will continue to strive to be a good neighbour throughout our next 90 years."

The CITGO Lemont refinery and its employees are strongly committed to giving back to the community they call home, partnering with local and national organisations to effect positive change in the area's health and well being, environment and education.

“Through our TeamCITGO volunteer programme, CITGO Lemont employees have taken personal time to give back to their communities on nearly 300 occasions. This past year, TeamCITGO spent thousands of hours on projects designed to strengthen Lemont and the surrounding area," said Jim Cristman, Vice President and General Manager of the CITGO Lemont refinery. "By cleaning up the environment, making donations to food and supply drives and participating in other efforts supporting the community, we are saying thank you for nine great decades in Lemont. We look forward to working together to strengthen our community in the years ahead."

Examples of TeamCITGO's efforts to give back to its neighbours include:

  • Helping children and families with neuromuscular diseases: in addition to the 90th anniversary of the Lemont refinery, 2016 also marks the 30th anniversary of the partnership CITGO has with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The CITGO Lemont refinery and the MDA partner on several events each year, including the annual MDA Muscle Team gala. In honour of their long history working together in the battle against neuromuscular diseases, CITGO will be the presenting sponsor of this year's gala in October.
  • Encouraging a culture of inclusion for those with special needs through the Special Olympics: CITGO supports efforts to improve attitudes and behaviours towards those with special needs through Special Olympics programmes that foster a culture of acceptance. Most recently, CITGO served as the Official Fuel Supplier of the Special Olympics' World's Largest Truck Convoy® at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
  • Supporting underprivileged families: CITGO helps MorningStar Mission in Joliet throw monthly birthday parties for homeless children — complete with presents, games and birthday cake — as well as other fun outings and parties for families in need.
  • Strengthening the local environment: CITGO and The Conservation Foundation recently renewed their partnership. This means CITGO volunteers will continue to aid in efforts to remove invasive plants and restore natural habitats in the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area, making the park a great place to hike, bike, fish and boat.
  • Inspiring the next generation: through a partnership with Project Infinite Green, CITGO Lemont refinery employees serve as mentors to local middle and high school students, teaching interactive afterschool workshops to inspire students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

The 90th anniversary of the Lemont refinery follows milestone anniversaries for two other CITGO facilities in the United States. The CITGO Lake Charles refinery marked its 70th year in 2014, and the CITGO Corpus Christi refinery celebrated 80 years of fuelling good in Texas in 2015.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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