Marathon Oil Corporation has begun construction of the estimated $1.9 billion heavy oil upgrading project at its Detroit refinery, following issuance of an air quality permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
With expected completion in late 2010, the Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (HOUP) will increase the refinery’s total capacity from 102,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 115,000 bpd, which will include an additional 80,000 bpd of heavy oil capacity. The increased refining capacity will supply more than 400,000 additional gallons of clean transportation fuels a day to the marketplace.
The refinery upgrades include adding a new processing unit called a delayed coker. The 28,000 bpd coker converts asphalt-like material into liquid petroleum fuel blend components and petroleum coke (a coal-like substance). It also will allow the refinery to thermally convert and upgrade heavy Canadian crude oil into higher quality products such as gasoline, diesel and petroleum coke.
Additional emission reducing technologies being installed include:
Sulfur Recovery Complex. This 280-long-ton per day complex recovers sulfur removed from fuels.
Ultra Low NOx Burners / Selective Catalytic Reduction System to control NOx emissions.
33,000 bpd Distillate Hydrotreater to remove sulfur from diesel fuel and kerosene to greatly reduce sulfur emissions.
Hydrogen Plant to produce hydrogen at a rate of 58 million standard cubic feet per day for use in hydrotreating units that remove sulfur from motor fuels.
Fluor Corporation will provide integrated engineering, procurement and construction services for the refinery project.
As part of the HOUP, Marathon is building a new 29-mile section to connect to the company’s existing crude oil pipeline to deliver additional supplies of Canadian crude.
Marathon is the fifth largest refiner in the US, with capacity of 1,016,000 bpd in its seven-refinery system.