Investing in our future
Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend is committed to maintaining and enhancing its state-of-the-art facility. In the last 10 years, work at the refinery has been the equivalent of building at least two Vikings stadiums.
Flint Hills Resources recently completed construction of a new contractor building and a new high-tech testing laboratory where scientists perform about 35,000 product-quality tests each month. These construction projects totaled an approximately $31 million investment and created more than 151,500 square feet of new work space for scientists, engineers, designers, and construction managers.
In an effort to improve reliability, reduce key emissions, and improve its ability to convert crude oil into transportation fuels, Flint Hills Resources recently completed work on approximately $600 million of improvements to several processing units at the refinery.
In addition, the refinery started construction on a new state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) system that will allow it to operate more efficiently while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota’s current energy supply mix. The CHP system will use natural gas and a heat recovery process to produce approximately 50 megawatts of electricity, or roughly 40% of the energy required to power the refinery.
The approximately $150 million project also contributes to the State of Minnesota’s goal to double the amount of power generated from CHP in the state. The system is expected to be operational by 2018.
Flint Hills Resources is also exploring another technology that would allow the refinery to remove sulfur from gasoline and convert it into a very safe and stable form of liquid fertilizer known as ammonium thiosulfate, or ATS. The approximately $150 million project would result in cleaner gasoline and a valued new product. The ATS project could be put into operation as early as 2018.
Early in 2016, Flint Hills Resources announced several other projects it is considering that would improve the efficiency of the Pine Bend refinery. The projects include updating equipment with state-of-the-art technology, making the refinery more energy efficient, and improving other refinery process units totaling about $750 million. The projects are subject to regulatory review, require permits, and must also receive final approval from Flint Hills Resources management. If approved, the refinery expects to begin construction in 2017.