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Marathon Petroleum cancels plans for new xylene recovery project in Washington state

Marathon Petroleum has broken off its intentions for a 15,000 bpd xylene recovery project at its existing Anacortes refinery in Washington as part of an agreement with six environmental groups.

This petrochemical unit would have produced xylene for export purposes in local waters for eventual use in plastic manufacturing purposes.  The environmentalist arguments against this project include fears around potentially toxic xylene vapors, an increase in energy usage for production, and the transport of large quantities of feedstock.

After a four year legal battle, the cessation of the xylene producing component of Marathon’s larger $400 million Clean Products Upgrade project was part of a compromise to allow the unopposed construction of a marine vapor control system for the Anacortes site. This system was initially envisioned to manage the emissions coming from xylene export, but it can alternately be utilized for the limiting of existing emissions at this refinery complex in Washington’s Skagit County.  Also notable here is that the xylene project stoppage did not affect the completion of planned sulfur content reduction from diesel production at the refinery.

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From the April 2018 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing


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