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ASHLAND PETROLEUM TARGETS $114 MILLION FOR NEW PROJECTS AT ST. PAUL PARK REFINERY

 ASHLAND PETROLEUM TARGETS $114 MILLION
 FOR NEW PROJECTS AT ST. PAUL PARK REFINERY
 ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ - Ashland Petroleum Company, a division of Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH), today reported that it has started construction on six projects at its St. Paul Park, Minn., petroleum refinery which will cost approximately $114 million and enable the plant to produce cleaner diesel fuel and further reduce plant emissions.
 According to Robert E. Yancey, Ashland Petroleum president, "Ashland is making a substantial investment in the St. Paul Park refinery to enable the plant to stay competitive and meet more stringent environmental regulations. Not only is this an important decision for Ashland's future, but it also illustrates our commitment to the Twin Cities and Minnesota."
 Yancey said that up to 700 local contract workers will be involved in construction projects. In addition, the company expects to add up to eight workers to operate the new units when they are completed.
 The new projects, which either have been started or will begin in the second half of 1992, are:
 -- A 20,000-barrels-per-day distillate desulfurizer. The unit is expected to cost $50 million and will provide additional hydrotreating capability to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel.
 -- New utilities and offsite projects totaling $19 million. This will include utilities, such as electrical substations, cooling water facilities, condensate recovery, sewers and additional tanks.
 -- A 10 million-cubic-feet-per-day hydrogen plant. The unit is expected to cost $14 million and will produce hydrogen required to desulfurize diesel fuel in the new distillate desulfurizer.
 -- A 50 tons-per-day sulfur recovery/SCOT unit. The unit, which is expected to cost $10 million, recovers sulfur from process gases in the refinery system and reduces sulfur dioxide emissions.
 -- Upgrades to refinery controls costing $7 million. This involves continued installation of new digital distributed control systems for operation of refinery process units, allowing more efficient product recovery and energy use.
 -- New wastewater treatment processes totaling $14 million. This includes a new API separator system and the replacement of two aeration lagoons with equalization tankage, dissolved air flotation and biological contactors to treat process waste water.
 Yancey said the distillate desulfurizer, sulfur recovery/SCOT units and hydrogen plant are being built to allow the refinery to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel. Effective October 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require refiners to produce diesel fuel for trucks that has .05 weight percent sulfur. Currently, diesel fuel is permitted to have .5 weight percent sulfur.
 The remaining projects will further reduce refinery emissions and upgrade operations.
 Construction of the sulfur recovery/SCOT units should be complete by the end of the year, while the hydrogen plant, distillate desulfurizer and utility projects are targeted for completion in 1993. The refinery controls upgrade -- started in 1991 -- is progressing toward a 1993 completion, while the waste water treatment project is expected to be completed in 1994.
 According to Yancey, the St. Paul Park construction projects are part of more than $300 million in announced capital improvements being made at the company's three refineries, located in St. Paul Park; Canton, Ohio; and Catlettsburg, Ky. Construction projects at Catlettsburg and Canton also are aimed at producing low-sulfur diesel fuel and further reducing plant emissions.
 "Changing environmental requirements are placing an unprecedented capital burden on the refining industry -- a burden that some refiners may be unable to bear," Yancey said. "Despite this challenge, we believe the long-term outlook for Ashland's refinery operations is good."
 With a crude oil processing capacity of 67,100 barrels per day, the St. Paul Park refinery is the second largest in the Ashland system, producing such products as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, heating oil, asphalt and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The refinery employs 236 Minnesota residents.
 Ashland Petroleum Company is the largest operating division of


Ashland Oil, Inc., and is engaged in petroleum refining, marketing and transportation from the East Coast through the Ohio River Valley and Upper Midwest.
 -0- 8/26/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, Inc., before 4 p.m.,


612-459-9771; or Tom Dalesio of Ashland Oil, Inc., in Ashland, Ky., after 4 p.m., 606-329-3445/
 (ASH) CO: Ashland Petroleum Company; Ashland Oil, Inc. ST: Minnesota, Kentucky IN: OIL SU:


DM -- PG002 -- 3519 08/26/92 13:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1992
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