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Phillips 66 progressing its conversion of California refinery to renewable fuels

In August 2020, Phillips 66 announced that it planned to reconfigure its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, to produce renewable fuels. The plant will no longer produce fuels from crude oil, but instead will make fuels from used cooking oil, fats, greases and soybean oils. (Earlier post.)

In April, the company completed the diesel hydrotreater conversion, which will ramp up to 8,000 bbl/d (120 million gallons per year) of renewable diesel production by the third quarter of 2021.


The renewable feedstocks will be primarily delivered across the Marine Terminal. Renewable feedstocks will also be delivered to the Rodeo facility using the existing railcar infrastructure, modified to reflect the elimination of butane exports. Existing equipment will also be modified to enable the offloading of local renewable feedstocks by tanker truck.

Upon completion of the roject the Rodeo facility will no longer process conventional or nonconventional crude oils, will operate fewer fired heaters, and will no longer export butanes across the existing rail rack.

The project includes other changes to Phillips 66’s facilities. The Santa Maria facility in San Luis Obispo County that currently provides crude oil feedstocks to the Rodeo facility will be idled and decommissioned. The existing Phillips 66 crude oil pipeline network from the gathering fields in central California to the Rodeo facility will no longer be necessary to support the reconfigured facility and will be active, but out of service.

To account for the idling of the Santa Maria facility and to maintain production levels during the transition process, the Project proposes to increase deliveries of crude oil across the Marine Terminal on a short-term and transitional basis.

Subject to permitting and approvals, full conversion of the refinery is expected in early 2024. Upon completion, the facility will have more than 50,000 bbl/d (800 million gallons per year) of renewable fuel production capacity.

The conversion is expected to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and help California meet its lower-carbon objectives.

Phillips 66 is increasing its focus on lower-carbon initiatives across the company, including the creation of an Emerging Energy group early this year and ongoing research in its Energy Research and Innovation organization. New initiatives this year include:

  • An investment in Shell Rock Soy Processing, a joint venture that plans to construct a new soybean-processing facility in Iowa. The project is expected to be completed in late 2022. The company will purchase 100% of the soybean oil production.

  • A memorandum of understanding with Southwest Airlines to commercialize sustainable aviation fuel.

  • A technical collaboration with Faradion, a leader in sodium-ion battery technology, to develop lower-cost and higher-performing anode materials for sodium-ion batteries.



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