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    Valero to Launch $2.4 Billion Arthur Refinery Expansion

    Daily barrel production set to increase by 20 percent by 2011.

    PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- Valero Port Arthur Refinery’s groundbreaking for its crude oil expansion project will kick off at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13.

    Among those in attendance will be honored guest speaker Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a proponent of industrial expansion, who will speak on the current energy crisis. "It’s important to the senator to increase U.S. domestic energy supplies," Matt Mackowiac, press secretary for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, told The Port Arthur News.

    Barbara Phillips, Valero public affairs manager, told the paper that Valero will invest $2.4 billion in the Port Arthur Refinery and will add 2,000 more construction workers to the job rolls that local officials say will keep the area's economy expanding.

    The project, which is slated to be completed in 2011, will include a 50,000 barrel-per-day hydrocracker, a 45,000 barrel-per-day coker and changes to other units.

    "It will increase our production from 325,000 barrels to 405,000 barrels-per-day," plant manager Greg Gentry told the paper. "We’ve been in the planning stages for a year. It will help us utilize our crude capacity by constructing a hydrocracker unit and a coker unit. It will be a $2.2 billion projects. Thirty permanent jobs will be created and 2,000 construction members a day will be employed at the peak. Construction will start in the next two or three months. The hydrocracker unit should be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the coker unit in the first quarter of 2011."

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