Valero Starts Up Hydrocracker Unit at Port Arthur Refinery

The new hydrocracker unit at the Valero Port Arthur Refinery has successfully and safely begun operations and is increasing toward planned rates on schedule. The new hydrocracker unit's throughput is rated at 60,000 bpd, but permit constraints effectively limit throughput to 57,000 bpd.

A 60,000 bpd hydrocracker is under construction at the Valero St. Charles Refinery, and it remains on schedule to be in operation during the second quarter of 2013.

The hydrocrackers were designed to capitalize on high crude oil and low natural gas prices, and produce primarily diesel to meet growing demand in both domestic and export markets. Each of the units cost about $1.5 billion to construct.

Valero is pursuing projects and permits to expand throughput capacity to 75,000 bpd at each of the new hydrocrackers. The expansion projects are expected to be complete in 2015 with successful permitting.

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