BP says it is investing $300 million in a massive project in Whiting, creating hundreds of construction jobs.
The company says about 250 workers are installing a naphtha hydrotreater at the Lake Michigan refinery to meet a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate to ensure that gasoline has less than 10 parts per million of sulfur, instead of the current standard of 30 parts per million.
BP Whiting reliability accelerator manager Dan Hirsch was quoted in NWI Times as saying the project will employ as many as 500 construction workers at a time over the new few years.
“We’re making one of the largest investments in refinery since the modernization project,” he said. “A hydrotreater removes sulfur from our fuel. In layman’s terms, it makes our gas cleaner. We’ve actually started the project. You might see some of the equipment moved around on the roads. We’re staging our equipment, starting to bring it into the refinery. We’re excited to see continued investment into our refinery.”
The unit will be running by 2020, with two reactors and exchangers that will be located near the refinery’s center.
“It’s substantial,” Hirsch said. “It will take all different trades to build: electricians, ironworkers, and pipefitters. It’ll be different trades as it goes along.”
Hirsch updated a crowd of hundreds of business people on the project at a Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Dynasty Banquets in Hammond on July 11.