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CHEVRON ANNOUNCES MAJOR PROJECT TO MAKE CLEANER FUELS AND IMPROVE OPERATING EFFICIENCY AT RICHMOND REFINERY

 CHEVRON ANNOUNCES MAJOR PROJECT TO MAKE CLEANER FUELS
 AND IMPROVE OPERATING EFFICIENCY AT RICHMOND REFINERY
 RICHMOND, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevron U.S.A. Products Co. today announced that its Richmond Refinery plans a $750 million project to produce new cleaner-burning fuels for cars and trucks and to sharply improve operating efficiency and reliability.
 The project, which would create at least 1,000 construction jobs at its peak, is expected to be built in stages over about a four-year period.
 The majority of the funds, about $400 million, will allow the refinery to meet 1995 U.S. Clean Air Act standards for cleaner-burning gasoline, as well as stricter 1996 gasoline specifications set forth by the California Air Resources Board.
 The remaining $350 million will upgrade key processing units to improve yields of higher value light products such as gasoline and reduce lower value heavy products such as fuel oil, thereby increasing efficiency and profitability. These modifications will help ensure the refinery's competitiveness and economic vitality over the long term, and will also address recent community concerns by improving reliability.
 "This project is a clear sign that our facility remains a vital part of Chevron's goal to be a top competitor in the refining and marketing business," said General Manager Mike Hannan.
 "In addition to making the clean fuels of the future and doing so more efficiently, the project will improve the reliability of key older units by using state-of-the-art technology in all aspects of operation. And our people will be highly trained in the new processes to ensure safe, reliable performance for a long time to come."
 Chevron will work with the City of Richmond and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to obtain the necessary construction permits.
 When completed, the project will increase the refinery's assessed value, and local tax revenue will increase significantly.
 It also will continue the refinery's efforts towards lowering air emissions, which have been reduced by 57 percent since 1980, and no increase in water emissions, which have been reduced by 80 percent since 1981. It will cause little discernible change in the refinery's visual appearance.
 This project is partially an outgrowth of a much larger modernization plan that Chevron scaled back in March 1991, when estimated costs climbed to $2 billion. The costliest part of that plan was construction of a flexicoker, which was shelved.
 At that time, Chevron said it would still spend in the range of $400 million to $500 million to achieve more than half the economic benefits of the earlier project at about a quarter of the cost.
 Last year, the state and federal governments adopted new fuel specifications, requiring additional refinery modifications. Blending these newly required changes with the already planned operational improvements has taken more than a year of detailed study leading up to today's announcement.
 Involved in the project are a series of modifications to existing plants as well as building some new plants. The portion that will meet stricter fuel specifications will produce gasoline having lower vapor pressure, less aromatic, olefin and sulfur content, and more oxygenates, reducing air pollution.
 The other portion involves upgrading key processing units which convert low-value heavy gas oils to high-value light components. The planned modifications include new instrumentation and computer-control technology that will play a key role in improving the operation and reliability of the plants.
 -0- 7/30/92
 /CONTACT: Hal Holt of Chevron, 510-242-2400/
 (CHV) CO: Chevron ST: California IN: OIL SU:


RM -- SF003 -- 5074 07/30/92 11:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 30, 1992
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