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FCC & coker demolished

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    DUNCAN — As the first phase of a project to convert the former Sun/Tosco refinery to a clean property suitable for light industrial use prepares to wrap up, ConocoPhillips and the Duncan Chamber of Commerce are inviting people to join them for a project update at 11:45 a.m. Thursday at the Simmons Center.
    Since Stephens County, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and ConocoPhillips reached a unique three-way agreement to clean up and restore the site, ConocoPhillips contractor Cleveland Wrecking has been working safely and steadfastly to remove all buildings, vessels, tanks and pipelines.
    Once that work is completed later this year, ConocoPhillips will begin the next phase of this ambitious project.
    ConocoPhillips project manager David Hathaway will keynote the Aug. 24 presentation, recapping work performed during the past year and a half, including the recent demolition of the refinery’s two largest structures, the fluid catalytic cracker and the coker. Hathaway will also give luncheon guests an update on the next phase of the project, which involves fully assessing the environmental condition of the property and implementing a site-wide approach to environmental remediation and cleanup.
    The refinery, built in the 1920s by Rock Island Refining Company, was a fixture of Stephens County industry for many years.
    Following expansion during its first two decades of operation, the refinery became part of the Defense Plant Corporation in 1943, supporting the nation’s victorious efforts in World War II. Koch Petroleum subsequently purchased some of the facilities from the government in 1946.
    The following year, Sunray Corporation purchased Rock Island’s remaining operations, and in 1953 acquired Koch’s interest in the plant. Sunray operated the entire refinery until 1980, when it sold the plant to Tosco Corporation.
    Tosco ceased refining operations in 1983 and sold the property to Alpha Energy in 1986.
    Alpha then divested portions of the refinery to two international offshore holding companies that were later found to have no assets.
    This led the state to seek out former owners such as Tosco (now part of ConocoPhillips) to take responsibility for the remediation effort.

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