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Valero’s Houston alkylation unit enters engineering, construction phase in 1Q

HOUSTON, May 3, 2016 (PCW) -- Valero said Tuesday it entered the engineering, procurement, and construction phase of its planned alkylation unit in Houston in the first quarter.

Announced earlier this year, the 13,000 b/d unit, which will upgrade NGLs into alkylate, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, the company said. Its estimated cost is $300 million.

In other operations news, Valero’s completed the $40 million, 15,000 b/d expansion of its gasoil hydrocracker at its St. Charles refinery in the first quarter. Construction of the $400 million, 90,000 b/d crude unit at Houston is ongoing and startup is expected in 2Q.

On Tuesday, Valero reported 1Q net income of $495 million, down from $964 million in 1Q 2015. The company attributed the lower earnings to weaker distillate margins, among others. -- Samantha Hartke

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