Project Snapshot
Port Arthur Refinery
Facility Type: Refinery
Scope: Expansion
Owner: Valero Energy Corp.
Location: Port Arthur, Texas  United States
Region: North America
Modified:  June 05, 2009

Facility description

Commissioned in 1901 and accessible to the Texas Gulf Coast, Valero Energy Corp.'s Port Arthur Refinery is located approximately 90 miles east of Houston. Valero in 2005 acquired the facility, which offers easy access to Gulf Coast waterborne crude oil via refinery docks or through terminals in Nederland, Texas. Products are shipped through the Colonial, Explorer, and Teppco pipelines.

Boasting a Nelson Complexity Rating of 11.6, the Port Arthur Refinery processes heavy, sour crude oil. In 2001, a new delayed coker and hydrocracker were installed to give the refinery this capability. More recently, the coker was expanded from 85,000 to 105,000 b/d. Valero said that it has a contract for 206,000 b/d of Maya crude oil through 2011.

According to Valero, the major refinery units are as follows: 325,000-b/d crude unit; 77,000-b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit; 105,000-b/d coker unit; 51,000-b/d catalytic reformer; and a 45,000-b/d hydrocracker. The refinery can process approximately 325,000 b/d of crude into the following products: conventional, premium, and reformulated gasoline before oxygenate blending; diesel; jet fuel, petroleum coke; and sulfur.


Valero in February 2008 announced a $2.4 billion project to expand the refinery's overall throughput to 415,000 b/d. The plant-wide turnaround entails the following: replacing six drums on the existing coker; building 50,000-bpd hydrocracker; building a 45,000-bpd coker; and revamping and expanding numerous other units.

The company expects the enhancements to boost the refinery's ultra low sulfur diesel production by 54,000 b/d and gasoline production by 7,000 b/d. In addition, the project will require 2,000 workers when construction reaches its peak and should create more than 30 permanent jobs.

In August 2008, Technip announced that it had been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract for part of the expansion. Technip's scope of work includes the following: two processing units, including a saturate gas recovery unit and an amine treatment unit, and offsites associated with the expansion of the refinery.

In June 2009, Valero announced the project will be on hold indefinitely after the company announced plans to acquire a 45% interest in a Dutch refinery. According to a Valero spokesman, engineering work had been completed and equipment had been ordered. The equipment will be placed in storage until the expansion is rescheduled.

  Key Stats
Year constructed:
Major process units:
crude unit; fluid catalytic cracking unit; coker unit; catalytic reformer; hydrocracker
conventional, premium, and reformulated gasoline before oxygenate blending; diesel; jet fuel, petroleum coke; sulfur
Construction type:
new construction
Current capacity:
325,000 b/d
Post project capacity:
415,000 b/d
Project cost:
Project completion date:
Technip (EPCM for two processing units [saturate gas recovery unit and amine treating unit] and offsites associated with the expansion of the refinery)
  Related Articles
Valero Starts Up Hydrocracker Unit at Port Arthur Refinery
Dec 18, 2012 - The new hydrocracker unit at the Valero Port Arthur Refinery has successfully and safely begun operations and is increasing toward planned rates on schedule.
Technip Wins Flare Gas Recovery Contract at Port Arthur Refinery
Nov 16, 2010 - Technip has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction support lump sum contract by Valero Refining Company for two flare gas recovery units at its Port Arthur, Texas refinery.
Valero Puts $1.7B Port Arthur Project on Indefinite Hold
Jun 03, 2009 - Valero is indefinitely suspending a hydrocracker project at its Port Arthur refinery after announcing plans to acquire a 45% interest in a refinery in The Netherlands with similar capability.
Valero Places Coker Expansion Project On Hiatus
Oct 29, 2008 - Valero Energy Corp. announced they were placing the construction of a 45,000 barrel-per-day coker expansion project at the Port Arthur Refinery indefinitely and delay improvement projects at othe sites due to cost and economic uncertainty.
Technip Wins Contract for Valero Port Arthur Expansion
Aug 13, 2008 - Technip has been awarded by Premcor Refining Group, Inc. (a Valero subsidiary) an EPCM contract for part of the $2.4 billion major expansion of its Valero Port Arthur Refinery located in Texas, USA.
Valero To Kick Off $2.4B Expansion At Port Arthur
Aug 11, 2008 - Matt Mackowiac, press secretary for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, said the senator has been working for incentives for industrial expansions for many years.
Valero: Expansions To Target Canadian Crude, Diesel
May 29, 2008 - In anticipation of large volumes of Canadian crude coming to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) is expanding two of its Gulf Coast refineries to process larger volumes of heavy crude oil.
Valero Will Need 2,000 Workers At Peak of $2.4B Expansion
Mar 03, 2008 - A $2.4 billion expansion to Valero Energy Corp.'s Port Arthur refinery in Southeast Texas will require 2,000 workers when construction reaches its peak.
Valero Moving Ahead with $2.4B Expansion At Port Arthur
Feb 29, 2008 - Valero Energy Corp.'s board of directors has approved the company's largest-ever capital investment project -- an expansion at its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.
Valero Pushes Back Quebec, Texas Refinery Expansions
Nov 06, 2007 - Projects at Valero Energy Corp.'s (VLO) refineries in Quebec, Canada and Port Arthur, Texas have been pushed back to 2011, the company said.

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