With an objective of “continuously improving the turnaround process,” Jeff Brewer, technical support manager for Delek, announced that the company has planned the next turnaround – a full refinery outage – for the fourth quarter of 2018. Delek acquired Lion Oil of El Dorado in 2011.
Brewer was the guest speaker for Wednesday’s El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Economic Luncheon held at Parkers Chapel First Baptist Church and sponsored by LANXESS and the El Dorado and Wesson Railway Co.
Explaining that Delek learned some lessons during the company’s 2014 turnaround – the first Delek-run full-refinery outage – he said plans for the 2018 event include additional safety precautions, better planning and a redesign of the refinery to enable the plant to “make our own grade of gasoline.” He also said the company plans for the turnaround to enable the plant to continue operations for the next five years without interruption. Brewer said that every day the plant is not running, the company loses $1 million.
Turnarounds are scheduled events wherein an entire process unit of a refinery is taken offstream for an extended period for revamp and/or renewal.
During the turnaround, Delek will employ between 300 and 350 contractors, with that number peaking at around 600 during the outage – which is expected to cost around $50 million and continue for 45 days, Brewer said.
He said Delek’s priorities are to “protect their companies and their employees” and company officials feel a “responsibility to care for the people who live in our communities and our customers. We want to be good neighbors.”
Delek was founded in 2001, and is a downstream energy company with assets in petroleum refining, logistics, convenience store retailing, asphalt and renewables, with operations in Tyler, Texas, Big Spring, Texas, Krotz Springs, Louisiana and El Dorado. Those four inland refineries have a combined nameplate production capacity of 302,000 barrels per day.
Brewer also announced that Delek, headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, acquired the remaining outstanding shares of Alon USA Energy, Inc. common stock in an all-stock transaction in July. The acquisition included 300 Alon stores, mostly in Texas and New Mexico.
He said during Hurricane Harvey, which caused extensive damage to Houston and other cities in Texas on the Gulf Coast, Delek was able to maintain stable operations and regulators “let us get more gas and diesel out. Part of our commitment to the community is to supply fuel.”
Rob Reynolds welcomed chamber members to the luncheon and those present approved new members, Cyber Intelligence & Security Laboratory LLC, PC Dugout, Hobby Lobby, Hachi Hachi and AnnTeeKeys.
Several mayors of towns in the county also gave reports of ongoing and completed projects and special events.
Mayor Karen Evans of Calion reported that for the past 10 years, Calion has been
working to provide sewer services “on the back side of Calion Lake” and construction has begun. Two main streets in Calion were resurfaced with General Improvement Fund grant money in the amount of $250,000 and an open house for the new City Hall in Calion will be held in October. Four-lane construction is continuing on U.S 167 from El Dorado to the Ouachita River bridge and Arkansas 335 was opened to Mill Street.
El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash mentioned new businesses recently opened in the city and those under construction including Chicken Express and Dairy Queen, along with Candlewood Suites and Fairfield Inn and Suites.
Norphlet Mayor Jim Crotty said they had also received a $250,000 GIF grant to resurface some streets and the 1891 Restaurant is now in business. Norphlet is also extending sewer lines and received a tourism grant for a ballpark at Norphlet City Park, to include a walking trail, playground equipment and a concession stand. He also announced that a reunion, for Norphlet students from 1940 until 2015, will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Smackover Mayor Bobby Neal said tennis courts have been refurbished and a new baseball field includes a grandstand, press box and concession stand. Smackover workers recently replaced 2,500 feet of sewer pipe and street work has been completed. A new storm warning siren was installed and Smackover received a grant from the Arkansas Highway Department to build a new sidewalk from Smackover Elementary to the city park.
Mickey Parker, public works director at Felsenthal, reported that the Clear Lake Road is open for recreational vehicles and on Wednesday, the Ouachita River level was 64 feet. He said streets have been repaired and speed bumps have been installed.
Dean Storey reported for Union County and talked about the Conifex mill, grand opening of the Murphy Arts District and the annual Union County Fair, set for next week.