BP-Husky Refining LLC has announced a major equipment upgrade at its Toledo Refinery in Oregon, Ohio. The project will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the refinery by reducing energy consumption and lowering operating costs. The estimated $400-million investment will create, on average, an additional 200 temporary construction jobs over the next few years, totaling 1 million man-hours.
"This project will be the largest investment in the refinery in quite some time," said Ron Unnerstall, president and refinery manager of BP-Husky Refining LLC. "It will put hundreds of people to work this year, protect existing jobs, enhance energy security for the region, and improve the plant's overall efficiency while also improving competitiveness."
The project involves replacing two old catalytic reformers and a hydrogen plant with one state-of-the-art, 42000 barrel-per-day reformer. The new unit will increase the refinery's gasoline production, upgrade existing infrastructure, and improve overall plant reliability.
Catalytic reforming is an essential part of the oil refining process. Reformers use special reactors and catalyst to transform naphtha to high-octane gasoline blend stocks. The latest technology for both reforming and catalyst regeneration will be used for the project.
The new reformer will require less energy than the two it replaces and operate at lower pressures, resulting in higher production of gasoline and hydrogen per barrel of feedstock. The gasoline product will also have lower vapor pressure, helping the refinery meet future environmental regulations for gasoline.
The new equipment will also help the refinery meet future environmental regulations. By using higher-efficiency reforming technology, BP-Husky expects to reduce overall regulated air emissions by more than 5%.
Construction on the reformer project is scheduled to begin in 2010. The project will be completed in 2012.
BP-Husky Refinery LCC is a joint venture between BP and Husky Energy.