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lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2018

Andeavor to transform the Dickinson Refinery into a renewable diesel biorefinery

Type of post: NEWS.

With the imminent start-up of the HVO plants of Total in La Mède and ENI in Gela on the horizon, a new investment to transform a conventional refinery into a renewable diesel biorefinery was unveiled last month. Andeavor (former Tesoro) has announced a plan to retrofit the Dickinson Refinery to process renewable feedstocks (see announcement).

Four miles (6.5 km) west of Dickinson (North Dakota).
The existing refinery is set on an area of approximately 318 acres (129 ha).
Feedstocks and processing capacity
12,000 barrels per day of renewable sources (soybean oil and distillers corn oil).
Renewable diesel.
It will be export to California.
The project is subject to permitting approval.
It is expected to be completed in late 2020.

Figure 1. Block diagram of the project (extracted from the website of Andeavor)

This commercial scale proposal is built on a pilot project at the refinery that co-processes vegetable oil and Bakken crude to create a 5% renewable diesel blend. According to previous information, the unit was scheduled to start-up operations in December 2017. For that pilot project, Haldor Topsoe was chosen as technology provider and Jacobs Engineering Group as engineering and procurement contractor. The company had said that the performance of the pilot will help determine the potential for a larger future renewable project at the refinery. In view of the announcement, the results were satisfactory.

Figure 2. Overall value chain of the renewable diesel to be produced by Andeavor  (extracted from the website of Andeavor)

Apart from the motivations related to the superior quality and lower carbon footprint of the HVO over regular fossil diesel, this kind of investments are also caused by financial and social reasons. Conversion to HVO production allows fossil oil refineries to compete more successfully on the market and save thousands of workplaces by preventing closures. The Andeavor decision will support the growth of the local agricultural sector by providing additional demand for renewable feedstocks produced in North Dakota.

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