Valero Energy Corp. chief ex-ecutive Bill Klesse told investors and analysts today the company plans to delay the construction start of a new coker unit at the Port Arthur refinery for about a year. Valero spokesman Bill Day said the new unit’s construction, originally planned to begin in 2011, would be delayed to coincide with completion of a pipeline from Canada that would deliver heavy crude oil. The coker would remove sulfur from the crude oil.
Valero already is building a hydrocracker unit worth $1.6 billion that would add hydrogen to crude to make diesel fuel and jet fuel. That unit will be completed in 2010, Day said. The coker unit construction probably would start a year later than originally planned, Day said.
Meanwhile, the Port Arthur refinery is continuing to raise its daily capacity as crude supplies recover from disruptions caused by Hurricane Gustav.