The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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BP-Husky Refining LLC announced a major equipment upgrade at the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery in Oregon, Ohio.

Refinery officials say 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 one 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 investment, which we refer to as our Reformer 3 project, will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the refinery by reducing energy consumption and lowering operating costs. We will be replacing two existing reformers and one hydrogen plant with one new state-of- the-art reformer,” Unnerstall continued.

Unnerstall appeared at a press conference Thursday afternoon with State Representative Matt Szollosi and Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian.

The conference was held at the BP-Husky Refining Learning and Development Center on Navarre Avenue. The center is located in the same complex as the BW3's restaurant on Navarre Ave., 1½ miles east of the Navarre/Route 2 exit off Interstate 280.

“The project utilizes the latest technology and will help the refinery meet future environmental regulations,” Unnerstall added.  “More importantly, the project benefits the environment by reducing overall regulated air emissions by over five percent. And, more gasoline and hydrogen…an important refining by-product…are produced per barrel of input.”   

Construction on the reformer project is scheduled to begin in 2010. The project will be completed in 2012. 

“What’s really great is what this will mean for our local economy,” Unnerstall said. “It will also protect the existing 1,200 BP and contract jobs we currently have at the refinery. So, I’m really excited about this investment. It truly is a win, win, win project.”

The project involves replacing two older catalytic reformers and a hydrogen plant with a single state-of-the art 42,000 barrel per day (bpd) reformer. The new unit will increase the refinery’s gasoline production, upgrade existing infrastructure and improve overall plant reliability.

The new equipment will also help the refinery meet future environmental regulations. By utilizing the higher-efficiency reforming technology, BP-Husky expects to reduce overall regulated air emissions by more than five percent. 

Planning for the catalytic reformer project began prior to the formation of the BP-Husky joint venture in 2007 and is a separate project from the Canadian Crude upgrade announced with the joint venture.

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.

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. 

“It’s good for the refinery – improving our efficiency and overall plant competitiveness,” Unnerstall said. “It’s good for the community and it’s good for the environment.

“To get to this place today took the effort of a lot of folks. First, our Reformer 3 project team has done a great job getting us to this point. Second, our site performance has been vital in securing the confidence of our shareholders for this major investment. In 2008, we had our best safety, environmental and operational performance in a decade and in 2009 we surpassed that with the best performance in the refinery’s history.

“And, finally, we also have had tremendous support from our community neighbors and elected officials….not only for this project, but for our day-to-day operations. BP-Husky has been proud to be part of this community for over 90 years. We look forward to this project and appreciate the ongoing support we have received.”

BP and Husky Energy operate two independent 50/50 operating joint ventures. One joint venture is a Canadian upstream partnership which comprises Husky’s Sunrise oil sands field located in Alberta, Canada, which will be developed and operated by Husky. The second joint venture is a U.S. downstream LLC consisting of the former BP Toledo Refinery (now BP-Husky Refining LLC) which continues to be operated by BP. The Toledo Refinery’s current nameplate capacity is 155,000 bpd. 

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