Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP, Indianapolis, has completed a long-planned project to more than double crude processing capacity at subsidiary Calumet Montana Refining LLC’s refinery in Great Falls, Mont.
The refinery’s 25,000-b/d crude unit is now on stream and scheduled to reach full operating capacity by the end of March, Calumet Chief Executive Officer Tim Go told investors in the company’s most recent earnings report.
Initially intended to lift crude processing at the refinery to 20,000 b/d from its original 10,000-b/d capacity (OGJ Online, Feb. 21, 2014), the $400-million expansion also was to include installation of a 25,000-b/d mild hydrocracker (MHC) to convert gas oil to higher-value distillates, a hydrogen plant to support the MHC, and a treatment unit to handle increased fuel gas production from the MHC.
Alongside expanding overall capacity, the crude unit is designed to process heavy sour crudes to enable Calumet to benefit from nearby access to cost-advantaged heavy Canadian crudes (OGJ Online, May 16, 2014).
During this year’s first quarter, the company already has taken steps to ramp up its refineries intake of Canadian grades, Go said.
While Calumet historically has processed 20,000-25,000 b/d of heavy Canadian crude at its refineries—roughly one quarter of its overall crude slate—the company plans to boost processing rates of less-expensive Canadian feedstock to 40,000-45,000 b/d by yearend, and longer term to as much as 70,000 b/d, Go said.
At subsidiary Calumet Lubricants Co.’s 17,500-b/d San Antonio refinery, Calumet also reported the completion of a $65-million project designed to convert a portion of the refinery’s ultralow-sulfur diesel and jet fuel production into about 3,000 b/d of higher-margin solvents to help meet customer requirements for low-aromatic content.
Solvents production at San Antonio will supplement the refinery’s current fuels production slate and will be targeted toward drilling fluid, paints, and coating markets, the company said.
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