Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oil storage and transfer facility proposed for Pittsburg waterfront

A huge parcel of industrial land is to be transformed into a facility to unload crude oil from ships and rail cars then send it through pipelines to local refineries under a $200 million (€150 million) development proposal. After the project's draft environmental impact report was released last year, WesPac Energy-Pittsburg opted to add rail delivery of domestic crude oil to the proposal, which originally called for only imported crude oil to be delivered by ships to a marine terminal. The revised project will be able to offload an average of 242,000 barrels a day of crude oil or partially refined crude oil from both ships and rail cars. The project will strengthen the Bay Area's oil storage and transfer capacity, according to Art Diefenbach, vice president of engineering at Irvine-based WesPac. Adding rail delivery was in response to a request made by oil refineries, which are looking to use more domestic crude oil from Midwest oil fields. Similar projects that use rail cars to deliver crude are being developed elsewhere in California, including Benicia, where city officials are considering a use permit for the Valero refinery to offload 70,000 barrels a day of North American crude oil by rail. The addition of the rail component to the Pittsburg proposal required that a recirculated draft environmental impact report be done. A final environmental impact report is tentatively expected to be released in November. WesPac has an option to buy the 125-acre parcel where the storage tanks are located from NRG, an energy company that operates a power plant on the site, if the required approvals are obtained. The project, which would take about two years to complete, calls for existing facilities and equipment to be replaced, upgraded and repaired to bring the facility into compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements. Once used by Pacific Gas and Electric to store fuel oil that was burned to generate electricity, the 16 empty tanks would be replaced, repaired or retrofitted to store crude oil. - See more at:

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