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    Alon USA Producing Cleaner Fuel

    Company's c-stores and stations will offer the new gasoline.

    ODESSA, Texas -- Alon USA began producing cleaner fuel this week at a new $18-million low-sulfur gasoline unit at the company's Big Spring refining complex, according to the Odessa (Texas) American. The new fuel represents an investment in the planet's future and in the company's as well, company official say.

    The production unit can produce up to 60,000 barrels per day of gasoline with a sulfur content of 300 parts per million, or about half of what it had been, said Joe Concienne, refinery manager and Alon's vice president of refining and transportation, according to the news report.

    "We view it as an environmental investment and a stay-in-business investment," Concienne said Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

    Jeff Morris, Alon president and CEO, said the company plans to invest an additional $50 million in low-sulfur production equipment at the Big Spring complex over the next several years. The cleaner-burning gasoline will be available at all of Alon's more than 550 Fina stations in the Southwest.

    Alon USA owns Southwest Convenience Stores, with more than 170 convenience stores in West Texas and New Mexico under the 7-Eleven and FINA brands. SCS is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in North America.

    Motorists won't notice any difference in the performance of a vehicle running on low-sulfur gasoline, Morris said. "It'll just make the air that much cleaner in West Texas," he added.

    There will be no increase in prices at the pump because of the new technology, Concienne said.

    The company has been preparing for the production of low-sulfur gas for several years, Morris said, adding that while a number of companies chose to close refineries instead of make the changes, "we're one that's been successful and chose to make the investment which helps to secure the future of the planet," according to the newspaper.

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