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Calumet seeks to invest $30m.

Calumet filed for permits to upgrade its refinery in Superior. The proposed $30 million project would make the facility more efficient and competitive, but it won't really change its output much, and the vacuum tower is one of the main feature that will be upgraded.

The oil refinery in Superior soon could be poised for a major overhaul.

Calumet Speciality Products Partners submitted a permit application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, seeking permission to move ahead with a $30 million project designed to improve the efficiency of the plant.

While refinery manager Kollin Schade said that most of Calumet's recent investments at the facility have focused on complying with new environmental regulations, the proposed project has a different thrust.

"From our perspective, it was time to really start looking at projects that could help improve the flexibility and the competitiveness of the refinery," he said.

"Since 2004, we've invested over $100 million in environmental compliance at this facility," said Mark Darby, the refinery's environmental manager.

"But at some point you need to have an offset for those additional costs, and this is the first project since my tenure here, where people have come to the facility and identified a project that really improves the viability and the future of this facility. So we're very excited to have that project come to us," Darby said. Calumet directly employs 185 people at its Superior refinery, as well as 80 to 120 private contractors at the same facility on a typical day.

If the project is approved, Darby said it could put an additional 50 to 100 local tradespeople to work during construction.

Schade said the project would improve the refinery's ability to adjust its product mix on the fly and seize on market opportunities.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Date:Nov 21, 2016
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