Whiting Refinery Modernization Project Moving into High Gear
Progress on the BP Whiting Refinery modernization project will accelerate during the last half of 2008 with the award of key contracts, the ordering of long lead time items and a major overhaul of a low pressure hydrotreater during a scheduled turnaround later in 2008.
When complete in 2011, the project will increase Whiting gasoline production by 1.7 million gallons a day and equip the refinery to process increased amounts of secure Canadian crude oil.
About 400 skilled craftsmen are at work on the project. That will increase to 1,000 workers in early 2009 and reach 2000 before 2010. The project will include construction of a new coker, a new crude distillation unit, a new gas oil hydrotreater, new sulfur recovery facilities, modernization of the refinery’s water treating facilities and other environmental improvements.
As promised in August 2007, BP will operate the modernized refinery within the more stringent discharge limits for ammonia and suspended solids contained in the refinery’s previous water discharge permit.
The project, the largest private investment ever made in the State of Indiana, will have positive economic impact on neighboring communities.
“We estimate that direct local spending during construction, including salaries and wages for field craft will be in excess of $2.5 billion,” said BP Whiting Refinery Business Unit Leader Dan Sajkowski. “Far more significant is that the project will allow us to sustain the ongoing employment base that provides a livelihood to over 2000 families and delivers huge economic benefit to communities in northwest Indiana.”
BP Whiting is moving forward with the project despite recent lawsuits brought by national environmental organizations-- lawsuits which are a part of an organized effort to stop or slow energy expansion projects including heavy oil development in Canada.
“We are confident our permits will withstand court review,” Sajkowski said. “We expected and prepared for this challenge, taking great care in the preparation of our permit applications and rigorously following the permitting process spelled out in state and federal regulations. We owe thanks to Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for working with us to minimize environmental impacts and for making possible a major investment that will benefit Indiana and the nation for years to come.”
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