CITGO Petroleum Corp. has completed the construction and start-up of a major processing unit to produce Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) at its Lemont, Ill., refinery.
In compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, the unit is equipped with the latest technology designed to reduce, by 98%, the sulfur content of diesel transportation fuel produced at the refinery.
“Projects such as our innovative ULSD facilities underline our commitment to the environment and communities we serve. I am proud to join with employees and community leaders to launch this innovative facility,” said CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado. The project comes on the heels of CITGO’s recently celebrated100th anniversary. “The ULSD team, CITGO Lemont Refinery employees and local contractors never lost sight of what we were trying to achieve. We have built a facility that will benefit the local community and environment for many years to come,” added Granado.
The new unit has a production capacity of 42,500 barrels per day (BPD) of ULSD, which constitutes the majority of Lemont’s overall distillate production of 55,000 BPD refined from heavy crude. The steps involved in producing ULSD include adding hydrogen to remove the sulfur from the diesel and then recovering and converting those sulfur compounds into elemental sulfur. This is then sold into the fertilizer market, an additional step in the company’s commitment to the environment.
The CITGO Lemont Refinery will now be able to produce 100% ULSD, in addition to other high-quality refinery products, such as gasoline, jet fuel and other specialty middle distillate products. The multi-year, multi-million dollar capital investment behind the innovative ULSD facility, which helped create 800 contractor jobs for the local community, also included upgrades to manufacturing units for all refined products.
The CITGO Lemont Refinery employs more than 800 local residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. While Lemont refinery employees produce high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 6,500 locally owned CITGO stations across the country, they also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs.
In addition to Lemont, the CITGO Corpus Christi, Texas refinery will soon introduce its own upgraded ULSD facility that will be able to produce 100% ULSD. The CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex in Louisiana has been producing ULSD since 2006.