North Dakota awards Tesoro $500K to support $3.5M renewable diesel co-processing project at refinery; 5% renewable diesel blend
10 July 2017
The North Dakota Industrial Commission has awarded Tesoro $500,000 to support a $3.5-million project to study enabling the company’s Dickinson, ND refinery to co-process renewable feedstocks such as vegetable oils such as soy or distillers corn oil into renewable diesel (RD). North Dakota made the award under its Renewable Energy Council Grant Round 33.
By retrofitting the 8,000 barrel per day diesel hydrotreatment (DHT) unit, Tesoro plans to co-process up to 5% (16,800 gallons/day) of renewable feedstocks to produce and to sell a conventional/renewable diesel blend in North Dakota. The co-processed RD will generate about 1.7 D5 RINs per gallon. The current market value of a RIN is approximately $1 per RIN.
Tesoro has selected Haldor Topsoe as its technology partner; the company’s HydroFlex technology produces synthetic diesel meeting ASTM 975 and EN 590 specifications in either standalone or co-processing units.
Haldor Topsoe will provide technical expertise in finalizing the process study to determine the hydrotreating catalyst formulation which will achieve the desired renewable diesel process yields, an acceptable catalyst life and while maintaining the desulfurization of the existing conventional diesel product stream.
The process study will also map out the equipment modifications and feedstock handling equipment additions that will be required to co-process renewable feedstocks at the Dickinson Refinery.
Tesoro has engaged Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. as the EPC (Engineering and Procurement Contractor), to support the process study and to support the engineering and design of the modifications required for the DHT as well as other required modifications at the Dickinson refinery.
Tesoro said that it will not need to increase the refinery’s operation staffing levels to support this project. The addition of the vegetable oil off-loading and the renewable diesel operating systems will be incorporated into the routine refinery operations.
Dickinson Refinery is the first refinery in the US to be built in more than 30 years. The refinery has a capacity of 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) and primarily processes domestic crude oil from North Dakota delivered by pipeline. The facility manufactures ultra-low sulfur diesel, naptha and resid, which is marketed to local customers and utilized for further processing in Tesoro’s integrated value chain system.