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    Chevron Feeling Growing Pains

    Company requests permit for refinery expansion in Mississippi.

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron requested a permit this week from Mississippi state regulators to expand gasoline production by 15 percent at its refinery in Pascagoula, Miss. The refinery currently has a capacity of 325,000 barrels per day.

    Reuters reported that the company filed the application with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to build a major gasoline production unit, along with other smaller units at the refinery. These new units are expected to increase production by about 15 percent, or 18,000 barrels per day.

    The unit, called a CCR unit, continuously regenerates catalysts used to covert low octane components into higher-octane, and will replace two 30-year-old reformers.

    "The CCR project will increase the Pascagoula Refinery's ability to provide reliable supplies of gasoline to key markets in the Eastern United States," Roland Kell, manager of the refinery, told Reuters.

    Approval of the project from both the state and the company's board will be announced together. If approved, construction would begin in the first quarter of 2008.

    Chevron already has another expansion underway in an effort to increase the capacity of its gasoline making fluid catalytic cracking unit by 10 percent. This project is on track to be finished at the end of 2006, the Reuters report stated.

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