Engineering News

Total Celebrates Milestone in Port Arthur Project
August 30, 2010

A monumental event took place in Port Arthur recently, most likely unbeknownst to most of the world.

At 1:10 a.m. Aug. 16, Total Port Arthur Refinery began production of ultra-low sulfur diesel, announced Darrell Jacobs, refinery manager, said to a group of more than 100 guests on Friday.

The product, he said, is more environmentally friendly as it contains 97 percent less sulfur and substantially lower emissions from diesel engines.

The milestone is part of the refinery's $2.2 billion Deep Conversion Project, which began two-and-a-half years ago on Feb. 12, 2008, when Total was granted approved to go forward with the project.

The largest unit at the facility, the distillate hydrotreater, or DHT-3, is the centerpiece of the operation. The unit was constructed in Paris and weighs 922 tons, according to information provided by Total.

"We are proud of the safe and successful start-up of the distillate hydrotreater and its related units," Jacobs said. "We look forward to the completion of all the units in this project in the next year which will enhance our ability to process heavy and sour crude oil and produce clean distillate fuels."

Andre Tricoire, Total's senior vice president of refining worldwide, said the world's economy has changed since the project started in 2008 but the multi-billion project still fits with the company's long-term goals.

In addition to the DHT-3, the Deep Conversion Project includes a 50,000 barrel-per-day coker and a vacuum distillation unit. The new units of the $2.2 billion project will increase the facility's deep-converion capacity and expand its ability to process heavy ad sour crude oil.

City and county officials toured the facility before heading to a meeting area at Beau Reve, then to Larry's French Restaurant for some Cajun cuisine.

Source: The Port Arthur News, Texas

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