Valero starting up new crude topping unit at TX refinery

A Valero Energy Corp gas station is pictured in Pasadena, California October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTX1TJOV

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp is starting up the first of two new crude topping units at a pair of its Texas refineries to increase light crude processing capability, a company spokesman said on Monday.

The $350 million, 70,000 barrels-per-day unit at the company’s 205,000 bpd Corpus Christi refinery will not increase overall capacity, but will increase ability to run lighter crudes.

A second $400 million, 90,000 bpd topping unit remains on track to start up at Valero’s 100,000 bpd Houston refinery in the first half of 2016.

Reporting by Kristen Hays; Editing by James Dalgleish