Valero spends $600 million on environment


May 07, 2008 at 10:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Valero spends $600 million on environment
The Valero St. Charles Refinery in Norco has earned statewide recognition for environmental excellence and will receive an award in May at its Voluntary Protection Program Association (VPPA) Region VI conference.

The company’s recent refinery environmental projects, two pollution-prevention projects and a computer recycling project, were recognized by Gov. Bobby Jindal in April as part of the state’s Environmental Leadership Program.

“The governor’s Environmental Leadership Awards are an annual recognition of companies and municipalities in Louisiana whose programs promote pollution prevention and exceed basic regulatory requirements,” Taryn Miller, community relations analyst for the company, said. “The St. Charles refinery submitted three initiatives for review by the Department of Environmental Quality’s Environmental Leadership Program, competing alongside other initiatives that demonstrated environmental leadership.”

Miller says across its system, Valero spent $600 million on environmental projects in 2007. “And we expect to spend $1.9 billion on environmental capital projects over the next three years,” she said.

Valero’s expansion includes a new unit that will continue to decrease permitted emissions.
“The expansion will improve and strengthen the refinery’s long term viability,”  Miller said. “It matches the Valero vision of making the St. Charles Refinery a flagship refinery in the Valero system.”

Valero has designed the expansion project to utilize state-of-the-art pollution control technology that meets or exceeds all applicable federal and state requirements, including Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards and Best Available Control Technology.

“The proposed change in the refinery expansion project will actually decrease our permitted emissions,” she said. “Since Valero acquired the St. Charles Refinery in 2003 our reliability has improved and in doing so we have increased throughput while decreasing emissions.”

Miller says the company plans to continue making improvements in refinery reliability and installation of state-of-the-art pollution control equipment while decreasing overall energy consumption. Approximately $2 billion has been spent by Valero in the production of cleaner burning gasoline and diesel in an effort to protect the environment.

“In fact, with the proposed Aromatics Recovery Unit (ARU) expansion project, we are installing pollution control equipment that is better and more efficient than those required by state and federal guidelines,” Miller said. “We are installing leakless valves, special emission reducing catalyst, and significant tank emission controls.”

The expansion will provide an estimated 100 permanent jobs in St. Charles Parish, as well as 1,400 to 2,500 construction jobs during the two years of construction. The expansion will cost approximately $2 billion.

The company has also earned recognition for an outstanding employee safety record. The award will be presented to the company because the St. Charles Refinery has an employee injury rate that is 75 percent below the national average.
In addition, the refinery will receive several safety awards from the National Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA) for its safety performance in 2007.




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