Valero Bill Greehey Refinery is an oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, US. It is owned and operated by Valero Energy Corporation (Valero), which is based in the US.
Valero owns two small oil refineries in Corpus Christi. They are operated together under the name of Valero Bill Greehey Refinery. The first refining unit is known as Corpus Christi Refinery West Plant and the second is known as Corpus Christi Refinery East Plant.
The west plant was built by Valero beginning in 1981 and the east plant was acquired in 2001. Refining operations at the west plant began in 1984. The two sub-refineries are a mile apart and the combined refinery is located on 523 acres of land. The west plant is on Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
The refinery supplies petroleum products including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel to the central Texas market. Valero purchases 80,000bpd of crude oil for its Corpus Christi and California-based Wilmington refineries from Mexico.
The Corpus Christi refinery site won the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 1994, the first petroleum refinery to receive the honour.
The hydrocracker unit at the west plant was shut down on 7 October 2009 after the unit caught fire. When the unit was opened on 19 October, a leak was found and the unit was again shut for repairs on 23 October 2009.
On the same day, complex one at the west plant was shut down for maintenance. A steam methane forming unit (SMR), which uses a catalyst to produce hydrogen from natural gas, was shut down following emission problems.
Of all the refineries owned and operated by Valero, Valero Bill Greehey Refinery has the biggest production capacity. Its total throughput capacity is about 340,000bpd. Of this, the east plant is responsible for about 115,000bpd.
The west plant produces clean fuels and products, primarily reformulated gas (RFG) and ultra-low-sulphur diesel. The east plant produces 70% light products.
The east plant refines heavy, high-sulphur crude oil into light products, primarily multiple grades of asphalt and petroleum coke. Its product portfolio includes conventional gasoline, ultra-low-sulphur diesel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, propane, butane and light naphthas.
The west plant is the most complex and efficient high-conversion fuel refinery. To improve air quality, the west plant is equipped to produce 100 % of its gasoline as RFG. It is a gas / oil hydrocracker with a throughput capacity of 36,000bpd.
Of the other refineries owned by Valero, Port Arthur and Texas City produce about 250,000bpd and 243,000bpd respectively, while Houston and Three Rivers produce 135,000bpd and 98,000bpd respectively.
Construction and infrastructure
The west plant has 4,700ft of ship channel frontage. This makes offloading feedstock and loading products onto tankers and barges easier.
The flagship refineries in Corpus Christi and Texas City and Benicia, California, have 58 crude oil intermediate feed stock storage tanks. The tanks have a storage capacity of 11 million barrels. The three refineries have a combined throughput capacity of 650,000bpd.
An eight-bay truck rack is employed by the refinery for servicing local markets and accessing a pipeline distribution network.
The Houston pipeline system, the San Antonio pipeline system and the Valley pipeline system connect the Corpus Christi and Three Rivers refineries with Houston, San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley respectively. The South Texas, Houston, San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley pipeline systems were sold in June 2003.
Five product terminals and an asphalt terminal have been built along the three interstate pipelines. The Houston pipeline has a 105,000bpd capacity and the San Antonio and Valley pipeline systems have capacities of 24,000bpd and 27,100bpd respectively.
A 70-mile pipeline that is capable of delivering 120,000bpd of crude oil connects the Corpus Christi and Three Rivers refineries. The Three Rivers refinery is located between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
In 2003 Valero Energy Corporation and Valero LP, now known as NuStar Energy, entered into an agreement with MGI Supply Limited (MGI), a subsidiary of Pemex-Gas y Petroquimica Basica, to supply 5,000bpd of propane from the Valero Bill Greehey Refinery to northern Mexico. Valero LP is a former subsidiary of Valero Energy that is now an independent company called NuStar.
NuStar has invested about $20m and acquired 59 miles of Valero Energy’s idle pipeline running between Odem, Texas, and Three Rivers. It also constructed 25 miles of new pipeline and a new propane terminal in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in June 2003.