Valero Energy, which owns 14 refineries in North America, started a new coker at its plant in Texas City.
The coker can convert heavy oil products into lighter products such as naphtha and heating oil. The coker has a capacity of 45,000 barrels a day, said Richard Marcogliese, senior vice president of refinery operations in San Antonio.
The San Antonio-based company began operating the coker last Wednesday after more than a year of construction, he said this week.
“We’ll easily get 30,000 barrels a day more product from the refinery as a result of the new coker” in addition to the 200,000 barrels produced, Marcogliese said. “The new unit will also allow us to run heavier, cheaper crude oil.”