(updates with photos)
PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- Total on
Thursday announced the completion of a three-year, $2.2 billion
expansion of its Port Arthur refinery, with all new units
successfully started and on-stream.
The deep conversion project included a 50,000 bpd coker,
55,000 bpd vacuum distillation unit (VDU-2) and 64,000
bpd distillate hydrotreater (DHT-3).
The units expand the companys
ability to process heavy and sour crude oil and produce cleaner
transportation fuels, such as ultra-low sulfur diesel,
Having the ability to access
what the market gives you on raw materials is very
important, said Darrell Jacob, refinery manager for Total
in Port Arthur. As far as ultra-low sulfur diesel,
thats what the transportation fuels market
The expansion will allow the refinery
to produce 3mn tons more of ultra-low sulfur diesel for
automotive use, officials said.
Michel Benezit, an executive vice
president for France-based Total and president of refining and marketing, called it an
important day for Totals downstream operations, also
noting that the new production was more environmentally-friendly.
It allows us to adjust to a
changing crude market and gives us more flexibility in
supply, said Benezit. He attended a ceremony in Port
Arthur to inaugurate the facilitys new units.
Total officials said the Port Arthur
refinerys integration with its adjacent joint
venture (with BASF) petrochemical plant offers
additional market opportunities to maximize
Officials did not comment on whether
they were considering an expansion of that facility.
Producers such as Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell have recently
said they are considering expanding their US Gulf petrochemical plants amid increased
The Port Arthur deep conversion project was announced on February
12, 2008, employing more than 17,000 construction workers throughout the
Workers logged nearly 18mn work hours
upon completion, exceeding 5mn safe work hours without a loss
time incident on two separate occasions, the company
Total officials said they recognized
that work by awarding the refinery with its highest company
Total Port Arthur refinery has a capacity of 232,000
bpd, according to the US Energy Information Administration
(EIA), making it the 27th-largest in the US.
The image below is of Total's new coker. For more photos
and details on the Port Arthur expansion, read the July magazine
issue of Hydrocarbon Processing.