HOUSTON Aug 5 Northern Tier Energy Inc
has ordered a pair of desalting units to add flexibility for its
Minnesota refinery to increase runs of more profitable types of
crude oil, Chief Executive Dave Lamp told analysts on Tuesday.
The company also will conduct planned work on a gas oil
hydrotreater in October, he said.
Lamp said the replacement of two older desalting units will
allow the 89,500 barrels-per-day St. Paul Park, Minnesota,
refinery to reduce Canadian synthetic crude in favor of North
Dakota Bakken or Canadian heavy crude. The refinery's overall
capacity would remain the same.
Currently the refinery is locked into a certain volume of
synthetic crude, while Canadian heavy and Bakken crudes are more
profitable, Lamp said during the company's quarterly earnings
The upgrade also will allow the refinery to reduce crude
unit temperatures to make more ultra-low sulfur diesel crude, he
"There's kind of a mixed incentive here," Lamp said.
The desalting units are among several projects the company
is evaluating that will, all together, cost less than $100
million, he said.
The desalter replacement would take place before the end of
2015. "We have them on order already, it's a question of when we
tie them in," he said.
Western Refining Inc last year acquired a
controlling 38.7 percent stake in Northern Tier.
(Reporting By Kristen Hays)